5 activities that will burn as many calories as walking

In order to stay healthy, it’s important to move each day. Walking is a good way to stay active and has a low barrier to entry for most people, especially since it doesn’t cost money. According to the Mayo Clinic, 30 minutes of walking burns about 150 calories a day, and has other benefits as well. Thus, walking can help you get a few steps closer to a healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, walking isn’t for everyone. But there are other ways to burn the same amount of calories. Some of them are even things you probably already do — and maybe even like doing. Here are five surprising alternative activities that can get you moving and help you lose as many calories, if not more, than walking.

Note that the heavier you are, the more calories you will burn in one 30-minute session. The numbers for calories burned below are based on Harvard Health Publishing’s estimates for a person who is 155 pounds.

young fitness woman legs walking on forest trail

Gardening

Playing in the dirt can be beneficial in so many ways. Planting flowers, harvesting vegetables and pulling weeds are good for your mental health and increase yard appeal while improving hand strength and encouraging you to eat healthier foods. It also is good for your waistline; if you’re around 155 pounds, gardening can help you burn 162 calories in just 30 minutes.

Deep Cleaning

Need to get some movement in but also have to clean the house? Crank up some tunes and get moving! Try to be as physical as possible. Reach up high for the tops of the windows and then go low when wiping baseboards. Move around your car as you give it a good scrub. Spring cleaning, such as washing windows and cleaning your vehicle, burns 162 calories in a half hour.

Taking Care of the Lawn

Whether you’re using a power lawnmower or a snow blower, taking care of your lawn can yield health benefits. You can expend 164 calories mowing your lawn with a push or power mower, 162 calories walking around operating a snow blower, and 216 calories shoveling snow by hand. You can also burn 144 calories every 30 minutes raking your leaves.

Playing With Your Kids

If you play with your children or grandchildren in a moderately active way, you’ll be a winner in multiple ways. You can spend quality time with them, build memories and also burn calories: 141 in a half hour, in fact. Jump on the trampoline, play tag, run through the sprinkler on a hot day. You’ll be the cool parent or grandparent to boot!

Home Renovation

Weekend warriors, rejoice! Remodeling burns even more calories than walking. So tear down that ugly wallpaper in the guest room and paint it that lovely shade of blue-gray with an accent wall. Just 30 minutes of home remodeling can burn 176 calories, and a project like this will keep you busy for days, which means plenty of healthy activity is in your future.

Close up of painter arm painting a wall with paint roller

Tips for Burning Calories Every Day

If you’re trying to lose weight and would like to expend more energy, try speeding up your regular routine up. Walking faster and taking on more physical activities will help you increase the amount of calories burned. Experts say that aiming to lose 1-2 pounds per week will set a healthy, sustainable pace, but consult your doctor before embarking on a weight loss journey so you can set safe goals together.

It’s really more about all the little choices adding up to make a big difference. Making several smart choices each day can contribute to your overall health and wellness, too, like parking further away from the store and choosing to bike somewhere rather than driving.

Wondering how many calories you’re burning daily? You can use an online calculator to determine how many calories you’re losing with each activity. This one from Forbes Health, for example, relies on data from Harvard Health and includes everything from high-impact sports to standing in line.

Just remember: any physical activity is better than being sedentary. The key to staying active every day is finding a way to move that you love because you’ll be much more likely to stick with it!

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