Let's face it. Now is the time of year that you want to kick that calorie burn into high gear. We are neck deep in the holiday festivities, so we are all looking to get our metabolisms roaring, right? So how do you know what exercises and activities are going to give you the biggest bang for your calorie-burn buck?
I have put together a list of various activities to give you an idea of how each affects your burn. Sitting still (aka at rest), most people expend roughly 1-2 calories per minute, depending on your body weight, sex, etc. I have included both activities that burn a lot of calories, and also a separate chart that shows activities that don't burn very many.
Use these charts as references so that you can get moving this season and burn off those extra goodies here and there that you want to enjoy along the way.
Note: This chart is based on a 150-pound woman. Men and women weighing over 150 pounds will burn more calories during the same activities, and those that weigh less will burn less.
|HIGH BURN ACTIVITIES||CALS BURNED IN 30 MIN.|
|aerobics: low impact||170|
|aerobics: high impact||238|
|elliptical trainer: general||213|
|calisthenics: vigorous, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, pullups||272|
|weight lifting: light/moderate||108|
|weight lifting: vigorous||207|
|running: 6.7 mph (9 min/mile)||374|
|walk: 4 mph (15 min/mi)||170|
|stretching: mild, hatha yoga||85|
|ice skating: moderate intensity||238|
|sledding, toboggan, bobsled||238|
|skiing/snowboarding: downhill, moderate effort||204|
|operating a snow blower: walking||153|
|shoveling snow: by hand||238|
|cleaning house: general, light||87|
|decorating Christmas tree||85|
|food shopping: with cart||78|
|playing w/kids: moderate effort||153|
|baking and food preparation||136|
|LOW BURN ACTIVITIES||CALS BURNED IN 30 MIN.|
|standing in line: light, holding items||68|
|sitting, watching TV||34|
|writing Christmas cards||61|
Source: http://www.caloriesperhour.comExtra Tips and Tricks To Get That Metabolism Roaring
So now that you know what activities are more energy expensive, so to speak, you've still got to do what you've got to do, right? I mean, those presents are not going to wrap themselves.
Here are a few ways to get in some extra activity and burn off a few more calories in the midst of getting things accomplished. A few of them are going to make you giggle, but trust me, you will be thanking me when you hop on that scale come January 1st and you have maintained or even LOST weight this season!
- Sets of 25 jumping jacks at commercial breaks while you are wrapping presents and watching "A Christmas Story" on TV.
- Dance around the living room to holiday music with your kids.
- Do wall sits while you are writing your grocery list.
- Take the stairs at the mall rather than the escalator or the elevator.
- Don't sit down while you are talking to Aunt Thelma on the phone. Walk around the house in one giant circle.
- After dinner don't sit down to chat, bundle up and take the dog for a walk with a few family members. If you are in a warm weather climate (YAY for you!) head outside for a game of family flag football rather than sitting down to play cards.
- Hands down, THE biggest calorie burning tip: Make sure to get in a good workout the morning of your holiday party, or rather, parties. You can see from the chart above what a difference even just a half an hour can make. And, you are not just going to burn during that alloted time, you will burn more calories all day long.
Examples Always Prove the Point Better
Let's take a look at an example. Using this calculator, a 30 year old woman, at 5'-6", 150 pounds burns roughly 1476 total calories, if she were at rest all day long. Suppose on Christmas Eve she wakes up, and decides that she doesn't want to work out. She spends her day doing light activity, getting herself ready, wrapping presents, watching some Christmas movies on TV, cooking, and baking. Then her family and friends arrive, and the rest of her night is spent socializing, eating, drinking and so on.
Her activity factor for the day would be around a 1.2, which would mean that her total burn for the whole day would be 1771 calories.
Now, let's say she woke up and went to the gym for a 45 minute vigorous workout, did some stretching, got herself ready, ran some errands, came home to cook, but added in some jumping jacks, danced with the kids, and never really sat down until the company arrived. Her activity factor in this case would be around 1.725, which would make her total burn for the day approximately 2546 calories.
That is a difference of almost 800 calories! Try out this exercise for yourself using this formula. Take a few minutes and add up what you typically eat on Christmas or Christmas Eve...make sure to be honest....remember to include the wine too...and those cookies...the appetizers, all of it. Now do you see what a difference a little extra movement can make?
I hope this helps to give you the incentive to get out and move this holiday season. An exercise like this truly gives vacuuming or shoveling snow a whole new light, doesn't it!