Ideally, we’d all create and stick to a regular fitness routine, because doing so is great for your overall health—from keeping your heart and bones strong to decreasing stress and boosting your immune system. Of course, between going to work and taking care of life’s regular obligations, it can be difficult to find the time for fitness. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can burn more calories and build a little activity into your day.
The latest Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends moving more and sitting less throughout the day. It states, “Some physical activity is better than none. Adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.” So, even if you’re pressed for time, you can still help yourself by getting up and moving—even if it’s just for a few minutes.
For some inspiration, we’ve rounded up 25 easy ways to burn calories at home. Nothing below will replace an hour at the gym or a long run, but it will add some activity into your routine. So, do a few of these each day, and the calorie burn will really add up. Before you know it, you’ll have burned a few hundred calories and toned some muscles without even leaving the house or stepping on a treadmill.
25 Easy Ways to Burn Calories at Home
- Begin each morning with stretches and some calisthenics before you hit the shower.
- Do a couple minutes of calf raises while you brush your teeth.
- Make those households chores—laundry and cleaning the floors—more challenging by wearing ankle weights.
- Do bodyweight exercises, like squats or push-ups, during the commercials of your favorite TV show.
- Next time you’re on the phone with a friend or on hold with the cable company, pace around the room to get in some extra steps.
- Sitting on the couch or at your desk? Squeeze your glutes to activate those muscles.
- Or, lift your feet off the floor and squeeze your abs for some core work.
- Curl your grocery bags ten times before dropping them on the counter.
- Cook dinner. Standing up and cooking for 30 minutes can burn 100 calories.
- Wash your car by hand; a 150-pound person can burn 200 calories per hour.
- Trade in your usual chair for a Swiss ball; it’ll challenge your stability and work your core.
- Set an alarm to stand up and move around for five minutes every hour. It’ll keep you alert and it is good for your heart.
- Do lunges from the couch to the fridge. Coming back with food? Great, now your lunges will be weighted.
- Waiting for water to boil? Hold a wall squat until it starts rolling. Waiting for the microwave? Hold a plank until your food’s done.
- Pull up the Aaptiv app, and get in a quick workout—some take less than ten minutes.
- Vacuum the house. You can burn 170 calories per hour, and it probably needs to be done anyway.
- Do some dips on your desk chair to give your triceps a midday workout.
- Install a pull-up bar in a doorway at home, and knock out a few pull-ups each time you pass by.
- Rekindle grade school recess memories by jumping rope. You can burn 100 calories in just ten minutes.
- Chase your kids around the house or your dog around the yard.
- Keep a yoga mat handy. When you’ve got some free time, get in a yoga session to stay limber, build muscle, and burn calories.
- Skip the elevator in your building and take the stairs instead. Or, run up and down the stairs in your house. Either way, the stairs are your friend.
- Take up gardening. Pulling weeds and planting flowers can burn upwards of 200 calories per hour—and you’ll get some improved landscaping out of it.
- Dance when your favorite song comes on. You might feel a bit silly, but you’ll feel less so once you’ve worked up a sweat.
- Engage in some intimate time with your partner. Studies show that sex can burn between 70-100 calories per session, so go ahead and count it.
Add a few of these at-home exercises into your daily routine, and you’ll benefit from healthy doses of physical activity even on days when you miss the gym. Small changes can turn into habits, which will eventually lead to a more active overall lifestyle. And, if you pick your favorites from the above, you’ll likely have some fun in the process.