from 50 Surprising Ways to Burn 50 Calories (By Sally Wadyka for MSN Health & Fitness)
Burning off a measly 50 calories doesn’t sound like a big deal. You’re probably wondering what the point is—why even bother going out of your way to burn just 50 calories? Well, do a little math and you’ll understand how just a few of these activities can really add up. Incorporate 10 of these activities into your agenda every day, and at the end of the week, you will have incinerated an extra 3,500 calories—enough to lose 1 whole pound!*
Before you leave the house:
1. Rearrange your living room furniture for seven minutes.
2. Now that you’ve unearthed an entire colony of dust bunnies that used to live under the couch, you’d better vacuum for 18 minutes.
3. There’s room now for another bookcase, so unpack those boxes of books that have been stacked in the corner (for 13 minutes).
4. Plop down on the couch and watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy you had Tivo’d (skip the commercials to get through the show in about 42 minutes).
5. Call a friend to discuss what you think might happen with Meredith and McDreamy next season. Chat—while standing—for 25 minutes.
Try a new sport:
6. Channel your inner Deadhead and break out the hacky sack for 11 minutes.
7. Organize a backyard game of touch football for 5 ½ minutes.
8. Ride the wave! Grab a surf board and paddle out to the break for 15 minutes.
9. Hit the court to play some doubles tennis for nine minutes.
10. Lose your partner and play singles tennis for 5 ½ minutes.
11. Grab a friend—or an athletic dog—and play Frisbee for 15 minutes.
12. Try to remember all those childhood rhymes you used to recite while jumping rope for 4 ½ minutes.
13. Wiggle your hips while you learn to hula dance for 10 minutes.
Impress the neighbors by cleaning up the yard:
14. Mow the lawn (get off the riding mower and push!) for 9 ½ minutes.
15. Go old-school and lose the motorized mower in favor of the hand-powered version for eight minutes.
16. Clear the weeds out of the flowerbed and plant something pretty for 9 ½ minutes.
17. Make your car look good enough to park in front of the newly groomed yard by washing it for 10 minutes.
18. Check out the competition—walk the dog around the neighborhood to see what the neighbor’s yards look like (for 10 minutes).
Chores and errands are more bearable when you think about the payoff:
19. Push a grocery cart around the store while loading up on your week’s food supply (for 19 minutes).
20. Carry those sacks (weighing a total of about 20 pounds) up a few flights of stairs for 7 ½ minutes.
21. Wander from cabinet to cabinet around the kitchen putting away all those groceries for 18 minutes.
22. Prepare and cook dinner for 20 minutes.
23. Eat that dinner standing up at the counter while reading the latest issue of US Weekly for 22 minutes.
24. Don’t leave the kitchen in that state—wash dishes for 20 minutes.
Use your morning routine to work off last night’s dessert:
25. Start the day off on a bright note by flossing and brushing your teeth for 18 minutes.
26. Salute the sun, assume the downward dog pose, and find inner peace by practicing yoga for 18 minutes.
27. Leave your home looking tidy. Make the beds for 22 minutes.
28. While you’re feeling domestic, finish up the laundry by folding clothes for 21 minutes.
29. Make sure your outfit is looking appropriately pressed and professional by ironing for 20 minutes.
30. Commute to work in your car for 22 minutes.
31. If you’re lucky enough to live close to the office, leave the car at home and walk there (at four mph) for nine minutes.
32. Or hop your bike and pedal your way to work for seven minutes.
33. Get to your desk, start up the computer and jump-start your work day by checking e-mail for 25 minutes.
Who needs to join a gym when you can:
34. Walk up stairs for five minutes.
35. Push a baby stroller for 10 minutes.
36. Strap on a backpack stuffed with about 15 pounds of gear and hike uphill for six minutes.
37. Save the planet (or at least tidy it up) by gathering up all your recyclable cans and bottles for seven minutes.
38. Play a rousing, extended rendition of “Heart and Soul” at the piano for 16 minutes.
39. Break out the Swiffer and dust every nook and cranny of your house for 19 minutes.
40. Enjoy some old-fashioned fun. Grab a deck of cards and play a competitive game of Go Fish for 26 minutes.
41. Avoid the temptation to text or e-mail. Take a more personal approach by hand-writing notes to friends you haven’t spoken to in a while (for 25 minutes).
Have a big night out on the town:
42. Pamper yourself with a pre-date manicure. Let someone else tend to your hands and nails for 45 minutes.
43. You want to pick out the perfect outfit. And of course, that requires trying on—and rejecting—several options for 22 minutes.
44. Put your best face forward—put on your makeup for 22 minutes.
45. Hang out at the bar socializing, talking, drinking (and hopefully making a good impression on your date) for 22 minutes.
46. Hit the dance floor with him and demonstrate your swing-dancing moves for 10 minutes.
47. Back at your place, show off your sensual side by giving him a massage for 11 minutes.
48. Move things right along … cozy up on the couch and make out like teenagers for 42 minutes.
49. Head behind closed doors for more intimate activity. (We don’t need to tell you what to do, just keep the pace vigorous for 30 minutes.)
50. Fall into a contented slumber for 49 minutes. OK, you can sleep longer, but you’ve already burned your 50 calories!
* Sources: caloriesperhour.com and caloriecontrol.org; all figures based on a 150-pound person