Get Fit Without the Gym
Learn how to burn off holiday calories without going to the gym
Deck Those Halls continued...
Most housecleaning, Jordan says, fits the "light
activity" category and only burns a few calories an hour. But it adds up,
and if you're moving furniture to get at those often-neglected areas that only
get cleaned when family comes to visit, you're exercising more vigorously. Half
an hour of hauling the furniture around to clean the corners or make room for
the tree nets you about 210 calories burned.
Outdoor chores around the holidays can really make a dent in
your calorie overload. Shoveling the sidewalk burns about 350 calories in just
a half hour, while an hour of raking leaves takes off 200 calories. "Don't
get the kid next door to do it or use the snow blower or leaf blower," says
Jordan. "Pace yourself --don't let a foot of snow stack up on you. Shovel
it once you've got three inches on the ground, and go out again after another
Once your own house sparkles with holiday cheer, many people
like to take the kids out to ooh and aah over the lights and decorations around
town. Here's a novel idea: walk. "Bundle the kids up and walk around the
neighborhood to see the decorations," says Henson. "So often we're in
the car, confined, driving around to look at Christmas lights. It's great to
get out and move, and you'll get a better view."
Multitasking? Bah, Humbug!
In all your holiday activities, says Henson, try to be "as
inefficient as possible." While that may sound like heresy in the age of
multitasking, it'll help you to get a little more exercise out of your everyday
activities. "When you're carrying in a carload of holiday groceries,
incorporate a little more activity by carrying in one or two bags at a time
instead of trying to drag them in all at once," Henson says. (Your back
will thank you, too!)
"Try to incorporate what we call 'step-losing activities'
throughout the day," she explains. That might mean carrying one box of
lights or ornaments up from the basement at a time. When you're on the phone to
the Butterball Turkey Hotline or calling mom for her yam recipe, use the
cordless and walk around the house. Or just hide the remote control and make
yourself walk back and forth to change the channels on the television. Every
little bit counts!