Mother dancing with daughter

Move it to burn calories!

Our everyday activities can really add up to a lot of burned calories. Learn how you and your family can burn those calories and have fun at the same time!

Being active as a family is important, not only for good health, but also to form strong bonds, set good examples and have fun, too.

Start good habits that last

According to fitness expert Christine Lusita, staying active also helps create long-term, healthy habits for kids. “If we create healthy habits like exercising through a sense of play, we help kids cultivate good habits, think for themselves and give them a good quality of life,” says Lusita.

“People sometimes have the wrong idea about calories," says Lusita. "Many think that to lose weight, you only need to eat fewer calories.” While you do need to eat fewer calories, exercise is also a key factor.

Bring on the fun

family on bikes

What can families do to get in more exercise? “Keep workouts fresh and fun,” notes Lusita. “Have an open mind and create a fun environment. Try all sorts of activities and pick those that give you a positive experience. If you have fun, you’ll repeat the activity.”

This also applies to daily activities that aren’t workout-specific. “If you’re doing chores, crank up the music to create an energetic environment,” she suggests. “When you’re at the grocery store, do lunges down the aisles. As your cart gets heavier, push it down one aisle and pull it up the next. Go to the park and instead of just walking around, create exercise stations: run in place at one station; do pushups at another; bounce a ball as high as you can; and add a station for planks or sit-ups.” You might try out the monkey bars, too.

Add it up

Just how many calories can we burn during our chores and other activities? Consider these numbers from Lusita:

  • Washing windows – 336 calories an hour
  • Sweeping – 240 calories an hour
  • Vacuuming – 215 calories an hour
  • Scrubbing the floor – 325 calories an hour
  • Group fitness classes like Zumba or spinning – up to 400 calories an hour
  • Pilates – 150 calories per hour
  • Hill walking – 500 calories an hour
  • Rollerblading on the beach or a path – 430 calories an hour

There’s more. The American Council on Exercise provides numbers for the following activities (based on a person who weighs 125 pounds):

  • Playing with your pet, which includes running, squatting, bending – about 204 calories an hour
  • Dancing – 442 calories an hour
  • Playing Frisbee – 170 calories an hour
  • Sledding – 396 calories an hour
  • Bicycling (11-15 mph) – 454 calories an hour
  • Mini golf – 170 calories an hour
  • Ping-Pong – 226 calories an hour
  • Snow shoveling (light snow) – 362 calories an hour

Pick your favorite activities from the list (along with the chores), and you’ll easily hit 3,000 calories in a week. These things really add up!

More about fitness and lifestyle expert Christine Lusita

Lusita’s passion is to mentor and motivate individuals to live happy, healthy and strong. She creates customized practical fitness programs to help people live better in their own bodies, and has recently appeared on the Today Show and Inside Edition. Her motto is "Love your body, love your life." Learn more about Lusita at christinelusita.com.

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How to burn calories all day long
6 Ways to inject some fun into your fitness routine

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