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The Lazy Person's Workout

We all know how important it is to exercise regularly, but the truth is that many of us just are not motivated to get to the gym. The good news is that we can get a great workout just doing things around the house or by making minor changes in our daily activities!

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    Take the Stairs
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 289

    Taking the stairs instead of using elevators or escalators. Start gradually -- one or two flights of stairs a day -- and build up. This is a great way to work on your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves, too!

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    Carry a Child Up the Stairs
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 289

    Carry a small child (up to 15 pounds) up and down the stairs for some added weight training! Walking down the stairs can be hard on your knees, so be careful!

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    Park Farther Away and Walk
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 90

    We know how important that good parking spot is. But if you park a little farther away from the office or the store and walk, you'll increase your fitness and decrease stress. Not to mention all the time you'll save by not circling the parking lot to get the closest spot!

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    Walk the Dog
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 70 (very slow) - 250 (very brisk)

    Walking your dog is not only a great way to spend quality time with your pet, it's healthy for you. Doing this on a regular basis will do good things for your heart. Most dogs can keep up with just about any pace you set, so you can feel free to walk briskly. You might even try jogging or running with your dog.

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    Work in the Garden
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 136

    Gardening not only improves and beautifies our environment, it also offers many of the same benefits as exercise. Did you know that you can burn as many calories in 45 minutes of gardening as you can in 30 minutes of aerobics? You'll use many different muscle groups and increase your flexibility and strength. It's also a great way to reduce stress.

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    Mow the Lawn
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 187

    Mowing the grass is a practical way to work out while burning some serious calories. So save the money you'd spend on a lawn care service or neighborhood teen, and mow the grass with a push mower (sorry, the riding mowers are about as good as watching the grass grow). A gasoline or electric mower gives you a moderate workout. You'll get the most benefit from an old-fashioned manual reel mower. The repetitive back-and-forth movement of mowing is also great for helping you slip into a calmer frame of mind.

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    Rake the Yard
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 146

    Raking is the perfect opportunity to get outside, get fresh air, and get your workout. It is considered moderate physical activity, similar to a brisk walk. It helps build upper body strength, core strength, and strength in your back and stomach. So grab a rake, a bottle of water, and have at those leaves!

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    Shovel Snow
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 266

    Live where it's cold and snowy? Shoveling snow is a high-intensity exercise. For some, it is more demanding than running on a treadmill at maximum speed! It challenges large muscle groups, raises the heart beat and blood pressure, and burns many calories. Be sure to warm up before starting, use good lifting techniques so you don't hurt your back, and don't overload the shovel. If you do not exercise regularly or have cardiovascular risk factors, you should be very careful with this activity.

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    Play With The Kids Outdoors
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 100-365

    Adults should aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, and children need one hour. Playing outside together can help meet both goals! During 30 minutes of continuous play, you can burn 365 calories jumping rope, 292 calories playing basketball or touch football, 182 calories playing softball, 146 calories cycling, or 90 calories walking. In addition to the physical benefits, playing helps supercharge learning, relieve stress, and connects us with others. So go play with the kids outside -- you'll not only have a better relationship with them, you'll all be healthier, too!

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    Wash the Car
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 143

    Washing your car works your arms and abdominals. It also saves you the embarassment of someone writing "wash me" in the grime on your car and the money you would have spent at the car wash. It's also a great way to keep cool in the summer (just keep control of the hose)!

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    Do Laundry
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 73

    Think of chores as boring and mundane? Think again! Household chores can help you live longer, build serious muscle, and even keep depression at bay. Moving about and bringing laundry up and down stairs will also help lower your blood pressure.

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    Make the Beds
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 130

    Making beds for 30 minutes burns the same number of calories you'd use if you jogged on a treadmill or on flat terrain for 15 minutes.

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    Cook at Home
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 85

    Cooking does not have to be a chore. Why not let your children help you? This gives you quality time together when they are enjoying your company and are supervised. Their children will learn from this and maybe even pass it down to their own children one day. Home cooked meals are also more nutritious, you can control exactly what ingredients are used, and they taste better!

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    Wash Dishes
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 78

    Yes, loading the dishwasher for 30 minutes burns less calories than when washing them by hand.

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    Iron
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 78

    Ironing tones the muscles of the upper body. Just make sure to stand up straight and press down firmly. Switch hands periodically so you don't overdevelop one arm.

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    Dust
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 85

    Housework is exercise, no matter how you look at it, and it keeps blood sugar, triglcerides and cholesterol levels in check.

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    Sweep the Floors
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 112

    Need instant energy? Put down that unhealthy snack, and pick up a broom. Doing chores for as little as 5 minutes can spike enegy levels by 50% for more than an hour, as motion boosts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to brain and muscle cells.

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    Vacuum
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 119

    Vacuuming for 30 minutes burns about the same number of calories you'd burn in 15 minutes of kick boxing. Vigorous chores like vacuuming for an hour a day can also reduce your risk of stroke by 60% by reducing the chance of blockages that trigger strokes.

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    Scrub the Floor
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 129

    Housework is physical work and moving about is the enemy of depression. Just 20 minutes a day will cut your risk of developing depression by 20%. Make it strenuous, like scrubbing floors or washing walls. Breaking a sweat by doing something strenuous squelches the output of the stress hormone cortisol while revving the production of feel-good hormones like seratonin and dopamine.

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    Re-arrange Furniture
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 204

    Feng Shui is a Chinese study based on the belief that energy flows in the environment of a home. Improving your environment can allegedly lead to health benefits, improved relationships, and all-around well-being. One thing is sure ... lifting and moving furniture certainly works out your muscles and burns a lot of calories, too!

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    Do Yardwork
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): Varies

    A person weighing about 125 pounds burns approximately 240 calories an hour doing activities such as sacking leaves or grass and planting seedlings or shrubs. Pulling weeds burns 278. Chores that burn approximately 300 calories per hour include digging or spading dirt and laying sod or crushed rock. Chopping wood burns 360. Of course, the more you weigh and the more vigorous the activity, the more calories you burn.

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    Wash Windows
    Calories Burned (30 minutes): 125

    Cleaning windows for 30 minutes burns the same number of calories as 20 minutes of power yoga (about one-third the length of a typical power yoga class). Plus you won't need special clothes or a mat, and you won't have to worry about what the people behind you are thinking about your form.