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Easy Ways to Move and Lose

Burning more calories than you eat is necessary for losing weight. Modern conveniences, designed to save time, cost us many chances to burn calories. Here are some of those missed opportunities, along with a rough estimate of the extra calories that could be burned.

Opportunities to Burn Calories Modern Conveniences
Getting up and changing the TV channel for 5 min a day: 3 calories Using the remote for 5 min, reclining: 0.6 calories
Getting up and standing during three 10-min phone conversations: 20 calories Talking on the phone while lounging on the couch for 30 min: 4 calories
Vacuuming for 30 min once a week: 115 caloriesHiring someone to clean the house: 0 calories
Ironing for 30 min once a week: 37 calories Having the dry cleaners iron shirts: 0 calories
Gardening for 30 min once a week: 150 calories Hiring a gardener: 0 calories
Pushing the lawn mower for 30 min once a week: 210 calories Hiring the neighbor’s son to mow your lawn: 0 calories
Walking the dog 30 min every day: 125 calories Letting the dog out the back door: 2 calories
Walking 10 min to public transit every day, riding for 30 min, then walking 15 min briskly to work: 240 calories Driving your car for 40 min, then walking 5 min from the parking lot: 22 calories
Walking 1 min and talking 3 min with a colleague while standing, twice a day: 6 calories Emailing a colleague for 4 min: 2 calories
Going up 1 flight of stairs 3 times a day: 15 calories Taking the elevator: 0.3 calories
Parking a 2-min walk away: 8 calories Taking the nearest parking spot, a 10-sec walk away: 0.3 calories
Walking at the mall for an hour, briskly, once a week: 240 calories. Strolling that distance: 145 calories Shopping online for one hour: 30 calories
Parking the car near the door of a restaurant, bank, drugstore, etc and going into the building 3 times a week for a total of 30 min: 70 calories Sitting in the car at drive-thru windows for 30 min total: 15 calories
Walking into the gas station to pay for gas once a week: 5 calories Paying for gas at the pump: 0.6 calories

Note: All calorie-burning estimates are based on a 150- to 160-pound person. A lighter person burns fewer calories, and a heavier person burns more.

Movement makes a difference

Complete all the tasks above, and the average person would burn an extra 6700 calories a month! This adds up to almost two pounds of weight loss!

Sources: Steven Blair, PED, Cooper Institute of Aerobics Research and Steven Smith, MD, Pennington Biomedical Research Center. Reprinted with permission of the Dallas Morning News.