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Ten Hands-on Activities that will Improve Your Life

By Indy Summers

Of course, not everyone wishes to hit the gym when trying to lose those extra calories. You could also be willing to hit the gym, but your tight schedule limits you. However, that doesn’t mean that you sit down and do nothing. Your routine activities such as laundry, cooking, and maintaining your yard can be enough to keep you fit and healthy. However, that doesn’t mean that everything will be easy because you might need to do a lighter workout. Everyone burn fats doing their routine activities.

Scientists refer to these activities to as non-exercise activity thermogenesis. These exercises include the energy that people use to lift grocery bags and walking upstairs, and with a little imagination, people can turn their routine tasks into calorie-burning workouts. Recent research suggests that non-exercise activities can aid in weight management and are among the highly recommended exercise guidelines. Body fitness experts recommend a few hours of strength training as well as a few days of aerobic activity per week.

For long, researchers have assumed that athletes have to raise their heart rate at least or break a sweat for an activity to count as a fitness guideline. However, recent fitness studies are making researchers rethink that assumption. For example, a recent study claims that short bouts of rigorous activities are associated with a decreased risk of becoming obese or overweight. These brief bout exercises can be any physical activity that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. The findings should encourage everyone concerning their fitness to take advantage of any task such as laundry and cleaning the kitchen to stay fit. The following are incredible activities that sneak exercises into your fitness program as you do your daily tasks.


Everything from washing pans and pots and chopping veggies is enough to keep your body fit. A 30-minutes cooking session can be enough to burn around 75 calories. It is time for people concerned about their physical fitness to ditch electric batter mixer, and instead, use their hands to stir batters to strengthen their arm muscles. Straightening and lifting your arms for at least 30 minutes while blow drying can help burn off around 100 calories. Next time you don't feel like dragging your body outside or going to the gym for a workout, consider styling your hair. It is a better way to style your hair and burn some calories at the same time. Your nanny has probably never stepped a foot to a fitness class, but household chores and styling her hair has kept her young and fit.

Ordering Drinks

You probably think that it is only your liver that gets a workout when you order a drink at the bar. However, a lot of hands-on activities can be done as you wait for the waiter or bartender to deliver your favorite beverage. For example, stand on one foot with your hands up to increase your stability and balance and measure your tipsiness as well.

Routine Car Maintenance

As the fuel cost continues to rise, car enthusiasts and mechanics are looking for ways to lower their automotive expenses. Most people often take their car to a mechanic for routine maintenance. However, if you feel comfortable enough to work on your car it is not only cost efficient but a great hobby. You can easily find aftermarket Camaro parts, and other parts online which will be cheaper than what your mechanic can get. Also the sense of accomplishment you receive from doing something yourself will do great things for your mental health.

Cleaning and Shoveling Snow

Sweeping and vacuuming can be enough to lose about 150 calories per hour. You can blast away any extra dust bunnies and stretch your muscles as you clean the floor. The next time you're washing your living room, pick up the basket and twist it from side to side repeatedly to sneak in a quick arms workout. With aerobic exercises such as shoveling snow, never let harsh weather conditions stop you from exercising. You can burn over 180 calories with a 30-minutes snow shoveling session. Just put on your headphones and start to shovel snow for at least 30 minutes.


Whether you went shopping for a new pair of shoes or groceries, shopping involves walking around and pulling a trolley, and it can help burn about 200 calories within an hour. It gets better when a shopper decides to park far away from the entrance of a shopping mall and avoid escalators and elevators. Try to stretch your arms as you walk upstairs to sneak in a hands-on exercise. Another way to stay fit is to get off the train or bus earlier to walk to a shopping mall or home. The best way to work your core and improve your balance is to walk along the curb.

Child Care Activities

Child care activities such as pushing and lifting a stroller, feeding, dressing, and bathing can be hard work. Perhaps you're on your feet half the night or all day and only get a break when your little one sleeps. Caring for a toddler can be turned into a routine workout, and the exercise can get intense as the child grows. You will need to do various activities that help in fitness and burning calories such as running and playing. Caring for a child can help burn about 250 calories within an hour. Instead of watching kids as they play with their toys, join them. Playing with kids can help burn hundreds of calories within a short period. It also creates an opportunity for parents to gain an invaluable bond with their young ones.

Painting Your Rooms

Nothing brightens up a room than adding a new coat of paint on the walls and door frames. Whether a homeowner uses a roller or paintbrush to paint their living room, painting changes not only the appearance of the house but also your arms muscle tone. It can help stretch and strengthen every muscle in your arm. Though walking contributes towards burning around 500 calories per day, you're likely to burn more than that when climbing down and up a ladder as you paint the walls.

Yard Work and Gardening

Perhaps you hate the idea of enrolling for a gym session. Light yard work and some gardening can be an excellent workout alternative. Cleaning the gutters, raking, planting, and weeding are all activities that homeowners can do to stay fit. Your arm muscles will strengthen, and raking leaves, digging up tulip bulbs, and clearing debris and sticks from the gutter will stretch your triceps and biceps. When you get in the garden to plant or dig, your calf muscles and thighs will stretch and relax. Though bagging and raking leaves can be a tiresome task, it is a practical weight training exercise. While in the garden, consider using a walking power mower to mow the lawn to get rid of around 375 calories accumulated from your daily intake. Digging your lawn with hands will not only make you physically fit, but also improve the appearance of your yard.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Never hesitate to change things up if you feel your bedroom or living room arrangement feels a little annoying. You will end up with a furnished home and new look as well as a bit of bit toned biceps after lifting couches and the bed. It is a simple way to stay fit whenever you don't want to go to a local gym or take a walk.

Walk the Dog

Though walking the dog may seem like an obvious way to burn calories, you can think of other exercises you can do as you walk the dog. You can consider taking a stroll to a restaurant or café or trekking to the grocery as you stretch your arms. Another way you can squeeze in a workout session during a routine activity is to walk your kids from and to school.

The belief that burning calories has to be hard no longer holds. People don't have to do tons of grueling and boring cardio or work themselves to exhaustion to shed some fats. You might be surprised how turning your everyday activities into your routine fitness program can help burn calories. Exercising alone may not be enough to guarantee a healthy life even if you work for only a few hours or spend the rest of your day seated in front of a computer. You can keep yourself active throughout the day with simple movements.

Research claims that people that are active during the day tend to burn more calories than inactive ones. You can lose those extra calories through non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which accounts for the energy that a person expends when doing structured physical activities such as sports or jogging and eating and sleeping. These activities include typing on the computer, walking, cleaning the house, and riding a bike to school or work. Experts consider fidgeting as a non-exercise activity that can speed up calorie burning. These activities increase your metabolic rate to help burn calories and keep your body fit. That's the reason manual workers and technicians tend to have a higher metabolic rate than professionals who spend much of their time seated at their desk. However, the number of calories burned can differ between people with the same weight due to their difference in the metabolic rate.

Indy Summers is a freelance writer interested in fashion, healthy living, and fitness. She has worked as an esthetician, as a personal trainer, and as a freelance model for several years. As such, she considers herself an expert in these industries and all topics related to them.

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