30 Ways to Stay Active Calories Without Even Trying
At Home: Cook
Take 40 minutes to chop, dice, sauté (and clean up your cooking mess) to burn off an extra 128 calories before your healthy dinner is served!
At Home: Dance Party
How to burn more calories (107 or so, to be specific) without even noticing? Spend 20 minutes playing a dance video game—or just dancing around your room to Lizzo. Bonus: There's a good chance you'll keep going for even longer. (Need more convincing? Check out how dance makes you a better athlete.)
At Home: Scrub the Tub
Put in 25 minutes cleaning the bathrooms of your house and you'll say goodbye to soap scum and 107 calories.
How to burn more calories tip: Put on some of your favorite dance music and groove off even more cals while you clean.
At Home: Plant a Garden
Grow your own garden to eat healthier and burn off an extra 105 calories per 25 minutes spent digging around in the dirt. (Then keep those fruits and veggies fresher longer with these savvy storage hacks.)
At Home: Express Your Creative Side
Bored at home and wondering how to burn more calories? Turn off the TV or shut your computer and try painting. Paint your bedroom a new color, or try your hand at some artistic expression on a canvas. Either way, you'll burn around 120 calories for 35 minutes worth of brush strokes.
At Home: Get Down and Dirty
Is the floor in your kitchen, bathroom, or living room in need of a good cleaning? Spend just 15 minutes scrubbing them and you'll zap 115 calories and brighten up your home in the process. (But before you start with this how to burn more calories trick, check your cabinets: These cleaning products could be bad for your health.)
At Home: Read
At Home: Mow the Lawn
Get outside and push the lawn mover through the yard to burn up to 119 calories in just 20 minutes.
At Home: Hang Photos or Paintings
Take 30 minutes to hang up those paintings or photos you've got in the back of your closet or around the house. You'll give your home an inexpensive mini-makeover and burn off an extra 107 calories in the process.
At Home: Suck It Up
Vacuum for 35 minutes to sweep away an extra 100 calories.
How to burn more calories tip: Practice engaging your core muscles while you push the vacuum for a hit of extra functional fitness.
At Work: Stand Up
Spend 40 minutes of your day standing, not sitting, at your desk to burn off an extra 100 calories at the office. It doesn't get much easier than that! (Related: The Best Standing Desks for Work, According to Shape Editors)
At Work: Move Around the Office More
Instead of sending that email or text, walk over to your co-worker's desk to ask a question. Need copies made? Take a trip to the copy machine and make them yourself. Headed to the restroom? Take an extra lap around the office before going in.
All these extra steps add up—just 40 minutes of extra walking during your workday translates into 119 extra calories burned. (Related: Are HIIPA Workouts the New HIIT?)
At Work: Climb the Corporate Ladder
We know you've heard this one before, but for good reason—taking the stairs a few flights instead of the elevator is one of the easiest, sweat-free ways to burn up extra calories. Spending only 15 minutes (that's just three 5-minute trips) out of your entire workday stepping up can burn off 116 calories. Also worth noting: Walking up stairs boosts energy more than coffee.
At Work: Organize Your Desk
Curious how to burn calories and boost your mental health? Before you check your email in the morning, spend 30 minutes organizing and cleaning your workspace. It's a great way to start your day—streamlining and eliminating an extra 120 calories.
At Work: Use Speakerphone
Put your morning conference call on speaker (or use a headset) and pace around your office or desk during the 35-minute call to torch 100 calories before you hang up. (Then take things up a notch with this ultimate walking workout for weight loss.)
At Work: Sneak in Some Isometrics
Spend 5 minutes out of every hour before lunch doing some sneaky isometric exercises (like squeezing your glutes and your knees together and holding for 8 counts, then releasing) at your desk to burn off around 100 calories before your lunch break. And if your office is cool with it, swap your chair for a stability ball. No, it won't give you chiseled abs, but it will make you more likely to sit up straight and move more all day.
At Work: Reinstate Recess
Instead of sipping an afternoon coffee, get some fresh air and have a little fun to boost your energy and burn calories. Jumping rope for just 10 minutes will get your heart pumping, help you refocus mentally, and burn off about 107 calories. (Too extra for your office? At least get outside and take away. Nature has tons of health benefits on its own.)
At Work: Skip the Office Candy Bowl
If you're truly savoring those M&M's, then go ahead and enjoy. But if you're just mindless snacking because you're bored or sleepy, they're kinda a waste anyways. Quit your candy habit (one large handful of M&M's is about 100 calories) to easily slash 100 calories—or more—during your workday. (DYK you're probably eating 1,300 calories a week in office snacks?)
At Work: Fidget More
According to Mayo Clinic research, fidgeting (tapping your foot, playing with your hair, etc.) could help you burn an extra 100 to 150 calories per hour. (Related: Why Wasting Time On Useless Stuff Is Important to Your Health)
At Work: Reap the Rewards of Your Workout
Research indicates that every pound of lean muscle you have can help you burn off an extra 30-50 calories per day at rest. So be sure to incorporate weight training into your workout routine—put on 4 pounds of lean muscle to guarantee you'll burn an extra 100 calories a day just sitting (or standing) at your desk!
On the Go: Go Shopping for Clothes
Spend 30 minutes searching the racks and trying on items at the mall or your favorite local boutique to burn off at least 100 calories (you don't even have to buy anything!).
On the Go: Laugh it Up
Some studies show that spending at least 20 minutes of your day laughing can help you chuckle away 100 extra calories and boost your mood in the process. (And no, you don't have to laugh for 20 minutes in a row, short bursts of authentic laughter all add up).
On the Go: Take a Bike Ride
Take a quick trip to the corner store or do a few laps around the neighborhood. Casually turning the pedals for 25 minutes will burn off 119 calories. (Related: 14 Reasons Why Biking Is Seriously Badass)
On the Go: Carry a Basket
Here's how to burn more calories at the grocery store: Pick up a basket instead of a cart and torch 100 more calories during your 30-minute shopping trip. You may spend less, too, as you'll be more inclined to stick with just the essentials instead of lugging around extra items you don't really need.
On the Go: Stretch Away Calories
Watching TV or waiting for your dinner delivery? Do 10 or 20 minutes of some easy yoga poses or stretches to burn up about 100 calories. Plus, it just feels good.
On the Go: Billiard Burn
Swap sitting through a movie for playing pool on a date night and you'll burn off 100 calories in 45 minutes.
On the Go: Wiggle While You Wait
Stuck at the doctor's office or waiting for a flight? Flip through magazines, stand up frequently, and fidget during your delay. If you wait 45 minutes (it happens), you'll burn about 100 calories.
On the Go: Switch to Sneakers
Toss an extra pair of sneakers in your bag or car and ditch your heels while running errands. (Athleisure sneakers are so on trend, BTW.) Speeding up your pace while you do errands for 30 minutes burns an extra 100 calories.
On the Go: Keep Your Calls Mobile
Make a pact with yourself that every time your phone rings, you'll walk while you talk. Four 10-minute conversations later you've burned 100 calories.
On the Go: Park Away from the Entrance
As long as it's safe, park your car as far away from the entrance as possible to sneak in extra steps during your day. Add an extra lap around the perimeter of the store, and five shopping stops later, you'll be down 100 calories.
All figures calculated based on a 150-pound woman.