Burn off the Holiday Temptations

author image

December 16, 2008

By Lynn Difley
OK, so you went to a friend’s house and the food was so good, you just had to have a second helping. And this afternoon, the neighbor’s kids brought over a plate of cookies, and of course you had to taste a few. And over the weekend, the eggnog was such a special treat it would be a sin to say no to a second cup. Help! What are you going to do?
We’re only human after all, and around this time of year the temptations are coming so thick and fast we don’t have time to gather our defenses. On top of all the delicious food and drink, there are also many demands on our time, leaving us frequently unable to workout according to our regular schedule. So what to do? Resign yourself to weight gain, and having to move the belt buckle a notch? No! I say. Don’t give up without a fight. Throw yourself into your chores, really give them your best effort. I always like to put on some favorite tunes, crank the sound up loud, and have at it. If you have to do it–do it with gusto!
Here are some typical chores, and the number of calories a 140-pound person will burn as they accomplish these essential tasks. If you’re dancing your way through them, you could add as much as a hundred calories on to each 15 minutes, depending on how vigorously those hips are moving.

• Wrapping gifts (15 minutes = 56 calories)
• Changing bed linens for guests and family (15 minutes = 40 calories
• Loading and unloading the suitcases and groceries from car (10 minutes = 32 calories)
• Taking out the trash (2 minutes = 5 calories)
• General housecleaning (1 hour = 191 calories)
• Clearing dishes from the table (5 minutes = 13 calories)
• Washing dishes by hand (15 minutes = 37 calories)
• Dusting (15 minutes = 37 calories)
• Food preparation (1 hour = 195 calories)
• Nature hike after dinner (15 minutes = 95 calories)
• Mowing lawn – hand mower (20 minutes = 95 calories)
• Raking leaves (30 minutes = 137 calories)
• Mopping floors (15 minutes = 56 calories)
• Playing catch (30 minutes = 73 calories)
• Bagging grass and leaves (30 minutes = 127 calories)
• Socializing – sitting and talking (1 hour = 95 calories)
• Socializing standing while talking (1 hour = 127 calories)
• Bathing the dog (15 minutes = 56 calories)

So, if you’re finding it impossible to get to the gym, try something new this year–like NOT avoiding the extra holiday chores. Look how many calories you can burn while also chalking up extra credit for being so helpful and considerate.

Leave a Reply


  1. kristi

    Great ATTITUDE , Lady!! That IS how you stay 140lbs. The word INERTIA; says it all. Look it up if you don’t know it, it’d be well worth the effort.

  2. John Shelton

    Bob, sounds like your wife might have some characteristics same as mine. Anytime she gets fired up to do something, it always involves ME doing it for her.

  3. Bob Difley

    Uh-oh! Does this mean you’ve got even more chores for me this Christmas?