Incidental Exercise

In your everyday life you do activities that burn fat. You may not realise vacuuming the house or washing the car is actually doing you good. The fact is you can get in great shape simply by incorporating a little extra movement into your day, whether you are at home, work or even out shopping.

Use the following table for inspiration. It all adds up!!

Activity Kilojoules burned per half hour* What it means in food
Ironing 260 1 small banana
Making beds 290 1 small potato
Scrubbing floors 840 1 cup cooked pasta
Vacuuming 370 250ml skim milk
Gardening (planting and weeding) 630 2 thin slices grainy bread
Mowing grass 840 120g chicken, no skin
Washing / polishing car 483 1 cup wheat flake cereal
Hanging out the washing 504 160ml wine
Walking the dog (brisk) 945 Medium chocolate bar
Grocery shopping (1/2 hour) 370 1 large egg
Window shopping (1 hour) 315 1 medium orange

* For a 68 kilogram person. Adjust the kilojoule figures up or down slightly if you weigh more or less than this.

Getting results

  • There is so much variety when you start looking into the different forms of exercise options – whether you want to exercise indoors or outdoors.
  • If you prefer indoors, Fitness Centres provide a number of fitness and lifestyle classes to suit everyone.
  • If you choose outdoors, and you don’t enjoy jogging, try beach volleyball, touch football or yoga.
  • Remember to choose a form of exercise that you will enjoy – that way you will be more likely to stick to it!
  • Try and vary your exercise routine so you don’t get bored.
  • Have set days when you commit to exercise – success will come from balance and consistency.
  • Make it social – if you find it hard to get motivated, make exercise a social occasion. Why not catch up with your friends for a brisk walk rather than a coffee? Or take up a team sport which can become a social event.
  • Set measurable targets – Whether your goal is in minutes, centimetres, kilos or kilometres, keep a diary of your improvement for a great boost of confidence.
  • Set a realistic weight loss goal eg 0.5kg per week.
  • Always have a warm-up and cool-down period of at least 5-10 minutes.
  • Ensure you drink plenty of water during your exercise for hydration.
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