Health: 10 ways to burn more calories

Weight loss doesn't have to involve countless hours sweating the calories off.

The simple equation is that you have to use more calories than you consume to lose weight.

Regular everyday activities, from getting ready, to gardening, to housework, or even sleeping, can burn hundreds of calories every day.

There's no way to give a universal answer to how many calories you will burn during a given activity because everybody burns calories differently - a heavier person will naturally burn more calories - but these activities are all guaranteed to add, rather unexpectedly, to your calorie burning count.

Brush your teeth

Frequently, when you open your mouth, you add to your calorie intake, but you can start to burn calories just by opening up and brushing your teeth.

Brushing your pearly whites (two minutes minimum, please) burns around six calories.

Brush your teeth several times a day and you multiply this.

To add to the effectiveness, stand on one leg for one minute then swap to the other for a minute - this will burn an extra 20 calories.

Be house proud

Don't dread housework, use it as a workout. Dust for half an hour and burn around 80 calories; mop the floor for 15 minutes and burn around 70 calories - even more if you do it extra vigorously.

Vacuuming for 30 minutes accounts for around 120 calories, and the same time spent ironing burns around 75 calories.

Green fingers

If you've still got energy, digging for an hour could expend nearly 500 calories, mowing the lawn for 30 minutes burns over 100 calories - even more if you use a push mower - and if you lose the bag attachment you can spend another 20 minutes raking up, accounting for around 70 calories.

Your car awaits

Make a serious dent in your calorie intake by washing the car. If you do a proper job, inside and out, this could take you up to two hours, during which you may have burned off more than 500 calories. And if you are extra proud of your set of wheels, you may want to go one step further and give it a nice wax to up the calorie burning effect.

Shop til you drop

Pushing a shopping trolley round the aisles for half an hour burns over 100 calories and this number rises the more stuff you put in your trolley and the heavier it gets (healthy low-calorie options only, please). Pack your own shopping at the checkout and take your goods to the car, remembering to wheel your trolley back, all to boost your calorie burn. If you are buying just a few items, shop with a basket rather than a trolley for maximum impact.

Make a meal of it

Half an hour on your feet preparing a meal burns roughly 70 calories; going back and forth to set the table burns more. The act of eating a meal accounts for around 50 calories, then there are dishes to do, which burns about 40 calories for every 15 minutes you scrub, dry and put away.

Relax, don't do it

You may think it unlikely to burn calories by relaxing, but you do. One hour in front of TV burns around 65 calories. Do without the TV remote and you can boost calories used just by getting up occasionally to switch channels. You could even do another activity while watching TV, such as knitting, sewing or even typing on your laptop.

Toilet duty

Everybody has to go at some point, but did you know calls of nature burn calories? Some people take a book or magazine to occupy them on the toilet, burning around 1 calorie for each minute on the porcelain throne.

Pucker up

Calorie burning doesn't have to be hard work. Half an hour of kissing can help you burn in excess of 30 calories. A 30-minute sex session can account for around 150 calories. And when all is done ...


You're going to be pretty whacked. Yes, an average night's sleep of eight hours can use over 400 calories - more than enough reason to help you rest a little easier.

Note: Calorie counts are based on an average female of about 65kg. A heavier person will burn more calories.

For more lifestyle news see

- Hamilton News

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