Work It, Work It! Move it to Burn Calories! By Jasmine

Our everyday activities can really add up to a lot of burned calories. Learn how you and your family can burn those calories and have fun at the same time!

Being active as a family is important, not only for good health, but also to form strong bonds, set good examples and have fun, too.

Start good habits that last - Staying active helps create long-term, healthy habits for kids. Creating healthy habits like exercising through a sense of play, kids cultivate good habits, think for themselves and give them a good quality of life. We need to show them there are more things than video games that can be fun, and fresh air is a good thing.

We sometimes have the wrong idea about calories. Many think that to lose weight, you only need to eat fewer calories. While you do need to eat fewer calories, eating balanced meals and exercise is also a key factor.

Bring on the fun - What can families do to get in more exercise? Keep workouts fresh and fun, have an open mind and create a fun environment. Have a conversation to find out what the kids like to do, incorporate a hobby or a favorite activity into your workout. Try all sorts of activities and pick those that give you a positive experience. If you have fun, then repeat the activity another day.

This also applies to daily activities that aren’t workout-specific. You can even make doing chores fun, crank up the music to create an energy. At the grocery store, do lunges down the aisles or create a scavenger hunt in each aisle. As your cart gets heavier, push it down one aisle and pull it up the next, basically be creative and have fun. Go to the park and instead of just walking around, create exercise stations: run in place at one station; do pushups at another; bounce a ball as high as you can; and add a station for planks or sit-ups. Get in touch with your youthful side and try out the monkey bars.

Add it up - Just how many calories can we burn during our chores and other activities?

Washing windows – 336 calories an hour

Sweeping – 240 calories an hour

Vacuuming – 215 calories an hour

Scrubbing the floor – 325 calories an hour

Group fitness classes like Zumba or spinning – up to 400 calories an hour

Pilates – 150 calories per hour

Hill walking – 500 calories an hour

Rollerblading on the beach or a path – 430 calories an hour

There’s more. The American Council on Exercise provides numbers for the following activities (based on a person who weighs 125 pounds):

Playing with your pet, which includes running, squatting, bending – about 204 calories an hour

Dancing – 442 calories an hour

Playing Frisbee – 170 calories an hour

Sledding – 396 calories an hour

Bicycling (11-15 mph) – 454 calories an hour

Mini golf – 170 calories an hour

Ping-Pong – 226 calories an hour

Snow shoveling (light snow) – 362 calories an hour

Pick your favorite activities from the list (along with the chores), and you’ll easily hit 3,000 calories in a week. These things really add up!

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