Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Illustrator of women and fidget your way to fit

Sweat sessions at the gym aren’t the only way to burn extra calories and lose weight. Making small changes such as hand washing dishes, parking further from the store entrance or mowing the lawn can add up to some serious caloric burn. Couple that with a healthy diet and you’ll be losing weight in no time.

Common daily tasks equate to caloric burn and by increasing your daily activities you can seriously increase your caloric burn. In Oxygen’s Collector’s Issue, Fatloss: The Complete Guide for Women, they state that “researchers at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada have found that bursts of moderate activity as short as one minute can add up to health and fitness benefits – and every little activity counts.”

Using a unit called “metabolic equivalent of the task” (METs), scientists measure the intensity of a given activity. One MET equals the number of calories you burn while at rest. Activities that burn 3-6 times as many calories as you do while at rest are considered “moderate” activities on the METs scale. So for these activities, on the METs scale, you burn 3-6 times more calories doing these activities than while you are at rest.

Want to know which calories generate the most METs (or caloric burn)?
  • washing dishes: 1.8 METs
  • giving the dog a bath: 3.5 METs
  • mowing the lawn: 5.5 METs
  • biking: 7.5 METs
  • jogging in place: 8 METs
  • skipping rope: 11 METs

Researchers use this method of measurement to compare the level of exertion and the energy spent when people of different weights perform the same physical activity. As the body works harder more oxygen gets consumed and the higher the corresponding MET level. As mentioned above, activities between 3 and 6 METs are considered moderate intensity. Vigorous activities, 6 METs or higher, burn more than 7 calories per minute and they include running or playing basketball.

If you’re looking to burn some extra calories for more effective weight loss, increase your activity levels by focusing on activities that are at least in the moderate METs level. And the best part, these are simple everyday tasks that you probably already do. They are as simple as washing your car, mopping, playing with your children or scrubbing your floors.