5 Take the Stairs
If you go to the gym and use the step machine, you’ll burn about 200 calories in a half hour. But why go to the gym when there are plenty of stairs all around you? Just walking up stairs at a brisk pace can burn 7 calories a minute, and give your gluteus, quadriceps and calves a good strength workout. It’s something to think about the next time you’re waiting for an elevator. When you’re just starting to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you may find climbing stairs is easier than running.
4 Dig in the Dirt
Gardening is not only a great way to exercise, you literally reap what you sow—whether it’s fruits and vegetables or a small herb garden. General gardening work burns more than 300 calories an hour. Weeding not only burns 172 calories in a half hour’s time, it gives you a good upper body workout. If you live in an urban area and don’t have a yard or garden space, bring a shovel and volunteer at a community garden. You’ll sneak in some exercise, make new friends and take home fresh produce.
3 Go Out and Play
There’s a reason parents tell their kids to go outside and play. It’s good exercise. Playing childhood games like hopscotch burns about 186 calories in 30 minutes, plus gives you a break from the responsibilities of adulthood. Taking a Frisbee to the park and throwing it around with friends burns 112 calories in the same period. Heck, chasing after your kids burns 200 calories an hour. If you don’t have kids of your own, offering to watch a neighbor’s kids for an hour or so will put you on good terms with your neighbor and give you a little free workout.
2 Clean Your House
Wash the dishes, do the laundry—and burn calories at the same time. Spending just 30 minutes doing general housework burns about 127 calories, according to WebMD. Sweeping and mopping the floor for the same amount of time burns about 120 calories and gives you a decent upper body workout. Sneak in some basic exercises for even more calorie payback. Work in some lunges while vacuuming and burn at least 123 calories in a half hour. Your cleaning supplies are the only equipment you’ll need.
1 Go for a Walk
By far the best way to work exercise into your daily routine is to go for a walk. Brisk walking at about 4 mph can burn as many as 334 calories an hour. Once you get your blood pumping, speeding up to a jog for just 10 minutes can burn more than 400 calories. Speed up to a run at just 5 mph and you roughly double the number of calories you burn. In addition to the calories you burn, walking to lunch or to pick up a few groceries saves you a buck or two in gas—and requires no equipment whatsoever.