12 Ways to Get Your Heart Rate Up Without Leaving Home

Experts agree on exercise. It seems the more research that’s done, the more we find out it’s about getting up and moving rather than spending hours in a gym that promotes health. But February is not a favourite month to even walk out the door in some provinces, let alone spend time outside — so what is there to do in your home that can get your heart pumping and your body burning calories?
According to websites promoting physical activity, there is plenty! Here are 12 ways to get significant exercise in half an hour without stepping outside:
1. Bathing your dog. You probably don’t think of this as exercise as much as not-your-favourite ritual, but giving your dog a bath for a half hour will burn about 105 calories if you’re a woman (130 lbs) and 140 calories if you’re a man (180 lbs). It goes without saying that you’ll get an even better workout if Fido is a 100-pound rambunctious dog!
2. Doing household repairs. Doing your own carpentry, plumbing and electrical work does more than save money, it gives you exercise. Completing small jobs on any of these for half an hour will burn 105 to 140 calories (if 130 to 180 lbs). Doing more major work, of course, will be an even better workout.
3. Playing an instrument. Has hubby decided to take up playing the drums? Before you say, “No way,” consider that he’ll burn 165 calories to 190 calories (if 180 to 205 pounds) in just a half hour. Invest in ear plugs to help him lose weight while exploring his artistic side.
4. Being a new mother. Carrying an infant around, as any new mother knows, is exercise. How much? Even walking around with no incline
with baby in tow for just a half hour will burn about 105 calories if you’re 130 lbs and 125 calories if you’re 155 lbs. If you climb stairs, you can almost double that.
5. Taking out the trash. Yep. You finally have a good reason to nag him about it. If it takes him a half hour to bag and carry out a couple of loads of garbage/recycling, and haul the bins to the curb, he’ll burn 125 calories (if 180 lbs) to 140 calories (if 205 lbs).
6. Working out while watching TV. Buy a cheap stationary bike and position it in front of an action-packed series like “Game of Thrones”, and before you know it, you’ll burn 240 to 375 calories (130 to 205 lbs) before the half hour commercial break. And that’s just for 12 mph hour cycling — even a moderate pace is great for the heart! If you work up a vigorous pace, you’ll burn 315 to 465 calories in a half hour.
7. Being a kid. When was the last time you skipped rope?  Second grade recess? Remember how invigorating it was? Dollar stores stock a variety of skipping ropes now that this “old-fashioned” pastime has come back into fashion partly because it’s being introduced at fitness clubs. It burns more than 10 calories a minute (300 calories per half hour) while strengthening your legs, butt, shoulders and arms. This cardio can be done almost anywhere in your home that you won’t swing and break something!
8. Washing the windows. It may not be a household chore you relish. But cleaning the windows in the winter lets in more sunlight, which brightens your mood, reduces S.A.D., and builds stamina! You will burn 135 to 200 calories (135 to 180 lbs) in half an hour.
9. Moving stuff. Winter is a great time to reorganize, clear away, and tidy up. Watch a few episodes of the hit Netflix series “Tidying Up” and you’ll not only be entertained, you’ll be inspired to burn calories carrying boxes – 210 to 310 calories – and move household furniture –180 to 265 calories – for a half hour.
10. Dancing around the living room. Whether or not someone else is with you, or you think you have two left feet, dancing is a great way to energize, exercise, and revitalize (especially if it’s to tunes you loved in your youth)!  You don’t need to venture out to Zumba classes to burn 165 to 245 calories (if 135 to 180 lbs) in a half hour.
11. Cooking. While is it very true that modern conveniences like electric food processors and lightweight pots and pans have stolen a lot of our calorie-burning and cardio-building in the kitchen, making a meal still does create exercise. You will burn 75 to 110 calories in half an hour depending on your weight… and how quickly you need to get that meal on the table.
12. Playing with your dog. How could exercise be this much fun? Believe it or not, even sitting down and playing with a dog or cat for half an hour burns more calories than standing for one hour. You’ll burn 75 to 115 calories (if you’re 130 to 205 pounds).


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities
  2. https://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist.htm

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