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Fed Up With The Gym? Experts Reveal Alternative Ways To Burn Calories And Stay Fit

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I recently spoke with the fitness experts at BarBend and Personal Trainers Anthony Mayatt and Eliza Flynn who revealed to me their best routine activities to stay active and burn calories. In this release, our experts also share tips on how to integrate fitness into our routines.  

Did you know that you are burning calories every day, just by doing everyday things?  

Personal Trainer Eliza Flynn explains: “You do not need to go to the gym or get a workout in to burn calories. Even things such as digesting food or standing burn calories. You are even burning calories while you sleep!  

The exact number of calories a person burns is affected by many things such as intensity and weight, so you can only get a rough estimate.

However, here are 7 routine activities and the calories burnt, based on a person weighing 70kg and engaging in these activity for 20 minutes.” 

  1. Washing up 

A mere 20 minutes of doing the washing up standing up, burns an estimated 44 calories! To increase this, be more vigorous with your washing up and do more of it! 

  1. Carrying and storing shopping 

The next time you head to the shops, know that if you are taking 20 minutes to walk back to your house and put the groceries away, you will be burning 61 calories. To increase this, carry heavier bags and put things away which require you to stand on a stool. 

  1. Cooking and preparing food 

You might be tempted to do more cooking which involve chopping up veg and herbs for 20 minutes, when you know you can burn 49 calories. If there is more hard work involved, such as filling several heavy pots with water, or whipping cream by hand, this increases the number of calories burnt to 86! 

  1. Redecorating the house 

Trying to upcycle that chest of drawers by giving it a new lick of paint? Or to add an accent wall to your lounge? Only twenty minutes engaged in these activities burns 81 calories. Imagine if you were painting the whole house!  

PT Mayatts adds: “A good spring clean or general housework can help burn a lot of calories! Hoovering, ironing, and hanging clothes get your body moving and help to stay active at home.

So do not see it as a chore, see it as a way to get that extra burn. In the end, your body will thank you and so will your clean house.” 

  1. Gardening 

Green-fingered people burn a lot of calories taking care of their garden. For example, planting fruit and vegetable seeds or plants for 20 minutes burns 105 calories.

And if you are hoeing the soil, that is 123 calories burnt. Even pottering about the garden or even your house, watering the plants for 20 minutes burns 37 calories. The more you do in your garden, the more calories you burn! 

PT Mayatt adds: “Taking care of the garden is an intense activity and anyone that does it will agree. Mowing the lawn has you walking, and planting flowers has you bending, standing, and moving in all directions. If you have a garden and it looks a mess, then get out there and start working out!” 

  1. Walking to work  

Anthony Mayatt explains: “Since COVID started, I think more people have tried to avoid public transport and walk a bit more.

Lockdown has allowed us to appreciate getting outside for our daily activity, so a lot of people go into the office by walking or cycling, rather than just jumping on a train or bus. Whether cycling in a gym or on the street is still a workout no matter the location.” 

  1. Sightseeing  

To take a break from computer work, sightseeing is also a good option to get out and explore the city. Have you ever thought about how much you are burning and walking when simply doing something like sightseeing on a day out around walking around your town?

In London, some days you could be walking 25-30,000 steps, without realizing it because you are taking in the sights of the city. You can burn up to 150 calories every 30 minutes of walking!

But how can we incorporate fitness into our routines? 

PT Eliza Flynn explains: “NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) refers to the energy expended for everything which is not related to sleeping, eating, or exercising. So, for example, the energy you expend while brushing your teeth. 

“By increasing your NEAT, you can burn more calories each day. And it all adds up quickly. 

“For example, if you spend more time sitting on the floor, you move more and change positions. In addition, you burn more calories by getting up from the floor than from a sofa.

If you are burning an extra 10 calories with this activity a day, that is an extra 70 calories a week, which is an extra 2100 calories a month!” 

PT Mayatt adds:  

“Whenever I am asked this question, I always answer with two words: accountability and enjoyment. Going back to lockdown, exercise became so accessible due to zoom sessions, home workout equipment, park runs etc so there are so many things you can be doing that do not involve paying a gym membership. 

“This is where enjoyment is so vital to getting it into your daily routine. If you enjoy what you are doing, then you are more likely do it over again.

Whether it involves meeting friends after work to play football or a group activity such as a bootcamp or a fitness class, the trick is finding something we enjoy doing. 

“The internet is home to millions of workouts of all types, use enjoyment as your focus and find the types of exercise that work for you. Joining online social groups and sharing what you have done and sharing and receiving workout tips is a good way not feeling alone in your exercise journey away from the weights room and treadmill.” 

A spokesperson from BarBend added:  “Staying fit means staying healthy. Often when we think about working out, we automatically think about gym and bodybuilding workout. Sometimes this can be off-putting and prevent us from finding our niche and staying fit.  

“However, integrating fitness into our routine does not have to involve a gym membership. There are so many other ways to stay active and taking care of ourselves. From gardening to sightseeing, burning calories can be fun! Working out does not have to be boring. Find what works for you and do more of it each day!” 

The Team at BarBend works every single day with one goal in mind: 

To help people live stronger, healthier lifestyles by delivering the best, most-informed content in the strength sports and fitness space. 

Through news coverage, training and nutrition content, product reviews and more, BarBend is your home for all things strength.