Busy parents and cleaning ladies get exercise every day, but maybe not necessarily your typical treadmill-and-lifting-weights-at-the-gym type of exercise. Many activities can make you break a sweat, and you may not even think of them as working out. Here is a list of everyday activities that burn calories, to help you feel better about skipping out on the gym.

Cleaning the House

Whether you’re mopping the floors or dusting shelves, this is definitely an underrated workout. Your shoulders and arms can be worked while washing windows, mirrors and showers, and scrubbing floors. Doing laundry once a week can burn the same number of calories as 100 sit-ups. Just half an hour loading the dishwasher burns about 105 calories. If your dishwasher isn’t doing the trick, scrubbing dishes would equate to swimming over a mile and a half. Top sweat-inducing and calorie-burning activities also include vacuuming, making beds, ironing, mowing the lawn, and gardening. However, any of these simple tasks will burn more energy than just sitting at an office chair.

Playing With Your Kids or Pets

Bravotv.com provides a guide to time spent playing with your furry friend and approximately how many calories each activity with them burns. Many of them won’t even make you annoyed about the fact that you’re working out, because you’ll be with your dog. Included in the guide is everything from playing and swimming at the beach to playing fetch and even bathing them. This is especially challenging if your dog hates water and tries to fight you or escape the entire bath! Plus, your dog won’t smell or look like the mud they dug in earlier.

We all know how hyper and spastic kids can be, but many parents stay in the car for a large part of the day transporting them to and from school, sports practices, tutoring, and other extracurricular activities. After all of that, though, the kids come home and still have more energy. Lots of parents of kids both young and older spend time making sure their kids are entertained, and not just from the TV. Playing games, cooking or baking, or doing puzzles or other activities with your kids are not only great for their brain development, but also for helping them relax – oh, and don’t forget for helping you exercise when time is short. In addition, taking them on field trips like to the zoo will force you to walk more, and if your child is young enough, pushing them in a stroller will be great for your arms and back. Not only do kids need distractions and outlets for their energy, but this helps you to bond with them, as well.

Taking a Hike to School or Class

For high school or college students, carrying a heavy backpack is typical of a school day – especially loaded with books, a laptop, notebooks, pens and pencils, water and extra supplies. Student’s bags can weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds – and they carry them around for most of the day, walking to and from classes and school, and to lunch. These students get a back and shoulder workout, while simultaneously getting their steps in for the day.


As surprising as it may sound, shopping is a great way to get some exercise while also being productive. Walking all over the mall or grocery store is great for your pedometer, and carrying shopping bags around and lifting clothes or other items and pushing a cart will work your arms and shoulders. Bringing the whole family or a friend along makes it more fun for all involved.

There are plenty of ways to get some exercise without even noticing that you’re doing just that. These activities can be fun and also productive for family or friends to do with you. Remember these the next time you need to make a trip to your local grocery store.

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