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Every Calorie Counts

10 sneaky ways to burn 75 calories-without even knowing you're doing it

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Who has extra time for the gym? Not us-so we found ways to shave 75 calories per day, with everyday activities. It may not sound like a lot, but it adds up; do four of these a day and you’ll burn 300 calories-without even knowing it.

1 Walk the dog. Take Rover around the block for 20 minutes to use 75 calories. If you’re both up for a trot, shorten the time to 15 minutes. If your dog sees a squirrel, embrace the chase; you’ll only need 10 minutes of leash time.

2 Go shopping. Less than half an hour of leisurely shopping and pushing a grocery cart will use up 75 calories; pick up the pace and you’ll burn more.

3 Skip the elevator. Only seven minutes of climbing stairs will use up 75 calories-so skip the lift. If you’re carrying a backpack, boxes or bags of groceries, you’ll burn even more.

4 Wash the car.You’ll use up those 75 calories in less than 20 minutes. Once your ride’s sparkling, clean your gutters for 15 minutes, and use another 75 calories. Other ways to burn: make the bed, change the sheets, or run the vacuum.

5 Jump rope. Only 10 minutes of slow rope skipping will burn off more than 75 calories. Step up your pace, and you’ll burn 100 calories in 10 minutes. Stash a jump rope in your briefcase or backpack, and use your coffee break to burn, not add, calories.

6 Play hopscotch. Burn 75 calories in a 15-minute game, and connect with your kids at the same time. Playing jacks and bathing toddlers have similar calorie-burning potential. Or get vigorous-wrestling, tickling, and tag use those 75 calories in less than 10 minutes.

7 Be a caddy. If you’re a golfer, walking and carrying your own clubs can use up 75 calories in 15 minutes-so playing 18 holes can burn as much as 1,000 calories.

8 Mow the lawn. You’ll free up more than 75 calories in less than 20 minutes with a power mower, or 110 calories with a hand mower. Raking leaves, shoveling snow, gardening, and other yard work have similar calorie-burning potential.

9 Dance up a storm.Shake your booty to rock or disco for 12 minutes, and you’ll use up 75 calories. If you’re a slow dancer, waltz or foxtrot for 25 minutes for the same results.

10 Have sex. A 15-minute romp in the hay can use up 75 calories.* A clothes-on make-out session uses even more (as much as 200 per half hour) by building anticipation, increasing heart rate, and boosting respiration.

*Based on a 125-pound person; heavier people will burn more.

Lisa Turner is a certified food psychology coach, nutritional healer, intuitive eating consultant, and author. She has written five books on food and nutrition and developed the Inspired Eats iPhone app. Visit her online at

It’s our 75th birthday!
Follow along this year as we celebrate all things 75 each month. To learn more about how Better Nutrition started (in 1938) and our plans for a special commemorative issue, click here.