6 Winter Chores that Can Replace Your Next Gym Session

These winter chores double as quick calorie-burners.These winter chores double as quick calorie-burners.

These around-the-house tasks burn the same amount of calories as your workout routine. You'll be shedding pounds and checking items off your to-do list.

1. Shoveling Snow: 373 Calories/Hour
According to CalorieLab, a 164-pound woman (the average weight for an American woman) burns 373 calories per hour shoveling snow -- the same amount you'd work off in an hour of vigorous weight-lifting. So consider getting in on this cold-weather chore when the next snowstorm hits rather than leaving it to your husband, kids, or anybody else.

Related: Here's Why You're Not Getting Results From the Gym

2. Cleaning Snow off the Roof: 224 Calories/Hour
This chore doesn't just protect your home from leaks and other damage: It burns 224 calories per hour, the same as an hour-long water aerobics class. (Bonus: You don't have to put on a bathing suit.) For your safety, make sure you do it with a buddy, only on a gently sloped roof, and when it's stopped snowing.

3. Scraping Ice off Your Car Windows: 56 Calories/15 Minutes
Every little activity counts. The 15 minutes you spend scraping ice off your car windows and windshield in the morning adds up to the same amount of calories you'd work off in 15 minutes of coaching your child's soccer game.

Related: 11 Dangerous Exercises You Should Never Do

4. Vacuuming or Mopping Your Floors: 186 Calories/Hour
Being stuck inside when the weather's nasty means having more time to do housework you've been putting off. Any activity you do while standing burns more calories than sedentary tasks, so chores like vacuuming and mopping are good for your health and your house's cleanliness. Both vacuuming and mopping burn 186 calories per hour, the equivalent of 15 minutes of running at 6.7 mph (a moderate pace that results in a 9-minute mile). Juggling multiple chores at once burns even more calories, of course.

5. Kindling a Fire: 112 Calories/Hour
You could pedal for 15 minutes on a stationary bike at the gym, or you could spend an hour building and tending to a fire at home. Both activities burn 112 calories. Bonus points if you harvest and chop your own wood: Chopping and stacking firewood burns 373 and 298 calories per hour, respectively. Combined, it's the same amount you'd burn in an hour of swimming laps. And if you're looking to get extra-cozy in front of the fire, know that cuddling burns about 22 calories per hour.

Related: 10 Exercises That Sculpt Away Fat

6. Bundling Up the Kids: 37 Calories/15 Minutes
You probably already know that helping kids into bulky parkas, snow boots, mittens, and hats can be a workout. But you might not realize that all that bending, tugging, zipping, and buttoning adds up to about 37 calories per 15 minutes -- equal to walking on a treadmill for the same amount of time. Stay involved with sledding supervision and snowman-building after the kids are dressed, and you've done your daily workout.

- By Amanda Green

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