Burn calories without exercise: Daily tasks including washing up could help you slim down

Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley

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When people utter the phrase “burning calories”, hard-core high-intensity workouts often springs to mind. But experts have revealed that that isn’t the case, as people can actually burn calories every day just by doing everyday, normal things.

Fitness experts at BarBend collaborated with personal trainers Eliza Flynn and Anthony Mayatt, to reveal the best routine activities to stay active, burn calories and that will integrate fitness into a person’s daily routine.

Eliza explained: “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.

“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.”

She went on to reveal how many calories a person can burn by doing menial things, such as just walking from room to room.

“If you spend more time sitting on the floor, you move more and change positions,” she explained.

“In addition, you burn more calories by getting up from the floor than from a sofa.”

She pointed out that if a person is burning extra calories doing every day activities per day, it all adds up and can mount to “an extra 2100 calories a month”.

It is worth noting that the exact number of calories a person burns is affected by many things such as intensity and weight.

But the experts worked out how many calories a person weighing 70kg would burn while engaging in the following activities for 20 minutes.

Washing up

20 minutes of doing the washing up while standing can burn up to 44 calories alone.

BarBend’s experts suggest being more vigorous with the scrubbing to increase the amount of calories burnt.

Carrying and storing shopping

Carrying shopping bags can be a workout in itself and according to the experts that’s a good thing.

“If you are taking 20 minutes to walk back to your house and put the groceries away, you will be burning 61 calories,” they said.

“To increase this, carry heavier bags and put things away which require you to stand on a stool.”

Redecorating the house

20 minutes of painting, decorating, or even tidying can burn up to 81 calories.

Anthony said: “A good spring clean or general housework can help burning a lot of calories.

“Hoovering, ironing, hanging clothes get your body moving and helps staying active at home.

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


Perhaps a preferred method for those with green-fingers, people can burn over 100 calories just by planting fruit and vegetable seeds for 20 minutes.

“Taking care of the garden is an intense activity and anyone that does it will agree,” Anthony added.

“Mowing the lawn has you walking, planting flowers has you bending, standing, moving in all directions.

“If you have a garden and it looks a mess, then get out there and start working out.”

Walking to work

He continued: “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.”

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