By Dr. Priya Khorana
1. Gardening – Personally I love gardening because I get to spend time in nature, feel the earth on my feet and get a whole workout out of it, at the same time. Gardening involves a wide variety of movements that burns calories – depending on what kinds of projects you are tackling in your yard, you could be squatting, lifting, digging, or covering a fair amount of distance with your many steps. I can easily spend a whole afternoon or an entire day working in the garden and reaping the benefits of a workout without feeling worn-out.
2. Sweeping or Mopping – Thirty minutes of cleaning can easily burn as many calories as if you brisk walked for 15 minutes on the treadmill. This may not be your favourite household chose, but the next time cleaning day arrives, remind yourself that you are working on your health at the same time.
3. Walking the dog – Ever since I could remember, we have had a dog. My evening walk with our pooch is not only my favorite time to do some de-stressing, but I often make a workout out of it – sometimes sprinting with him, sometimes taking him on a hike, and sometimes a long slow walk – all of which burn calories, and help with my goals of staying in shape.
4. Beach Clean-ups – This year, I have spent much of my summer at our home on the beach, and instead of going to the gym, every evening I take my niece out for a beach walk. What do we do? We collect trash, throw it away, splash around in the water, chase each other – all in all a wonderful hour spent, but the best part? So many calories burned! If you are not near the beach, no problem, walk around your neighbourhood and recruit your kids or your partner to help clean up any trash you find laying around – Bending over and doing several laps around your ‘hood isn’t just good for the environment, but your body as well.
5. Get off the bus or train a couple stops earlier – This is one tip I employed whilst completing my PhD in New York City – I was given the opportunity to explore new neighbourhoods and at the same time burning those calories. Taking the steps, if you are able, at train stations is also another way to burn plenty of calories without feeling like you are slaving away at the gym. This is one way to keep healthy by staying active every day in as many ways as you can.