I'm not an exercise fanatic. I'm not an exercise enthusiast. I'm not even an exercise proficient. I'd qualify myself as more of an "exercise survivor." I do it because I have to, because I don't want to get fat. I rarely enjoy it. Sometimes I don't mind it. But mostly I do mind it. Mostly I hate it. Mostly it wears me out until I would just want to lay down and die afterwards. But I tend to like the results of exercise, so I do it. I try to do cardio 3-4 times a week. Mostly this consists of running on the treadmill, the stationary bike, and the eliptical in the cardio theater at the gym. In nice weather, I might actually walk/run outside or even bike outside. I occasionally do my Dance Dance Revolution at home, P90X, or yoga. I also hit the water aerobics class once a week. On top of that, I try to do weight training at least 3 times a week, but I don't generally pull that off. It ends up being once or twice usually. Part of my problem is the time constraints of my life. I have two little kids who rarely give me 30-45 minutes to exercise without interruption (although they do LOVE to "help" me jump all over the mat while I try to do DDR.) The other problem is the aforementioned hatred of exercise. So when I read this article today at Sparkpeople.com (a site to help you track calories, get exercise ideas and healthy recipes, etc.), I was super into it. It's all about more realistic, fun, interesting ways to burn calories and get your exercise:
20 Ways to Burn 200 Calories
Do visions of schlepping away on the treadmill or giving up your social life for the gym come to mind when you think about burning calories? Think again!
These fun workouts and activities will help you burn approximately 200 calories* each. Take your pick, whether you need ideas to get started on your fitness program or get the scale moving in the right direction again.
*Calorie estimates for a 160-pound female come from SparkPeople's fitness tracker. Men--and women who weigh more--will burn more calories.
1. Video games like Nintendo Wii let you exercise more than your thumbs. It gets you up off the couch and sweating!
50 minutes = 200 calories burned
Dude, I am all over that. I actually sweat when I play Wii tennis or boxing. I usually pull at least one muscle, too, so it must be exercise.
2. Grab a jump rope and make like a kid! Wear good cushioned shoes and use a steady hard surface.
10-15 minutes = 200 calories burned
Ya, sorry. 15 minutes with a jump rope? I think 15 seconds would wear me out. Too exercisey. Cross this one off the list.
3. Hit the links at your local golf course. Walking and pulling (or carrying) your own clubs is great exercise!
50 minutes = 210 calories burned
Since I already golf and enjoy it, this one might seem like a logical choice for me. But only if I have no interest in having a good score. Walking the course makes me so tired that my shots are sloppy after 3 or 4 holes. But maybe my caddy will take it under consideration.
4. Wash your car by hand. Get out the vacuum, hose, bucket, and sponge for a detailed cleaning.
40 minutes = 216 calories burned
This one gets two thumbs up. Not only does it save money and burn calories, you get a clean car out of it! I have a certain sister who might want to try this one. Or mother.
5. Take the dog for a walk, and try to maintain a brisk (about 4 mph) pace. Fido needs exercise, too!
25 minutes = 190 calories burned
Sounds great! Now who wants to lend me their dog? Flossie isn't so keen on walks.
6. Call up a friend for a friendly game of racquetball or tennis. This is a good opportunity to catch up while you get fit! You don’t have to be a pro to have fun!
25 minutes = 218 calories burned
Does anyone out there play racquetball or tennis?? Cause I'm always game for 30 minutes of mocking, jeering, and total humiliation. (That would be you doing the mocking, jeering, and humiliating, by the way.)
7. Get off the couch and move it for a whole new look. All that lifting, tugging, pushing, and pulling adds up.
25 minutes = 210 calories burned
You know what? This is actually a good idea. Except that the furniture in almost every room of my house only fits one way. Hmmmmm. But there is my bedroom.... Do you think I could drag a huge, queen-sized, solid wood bed frame plus mattress and box spring by myself?
8. Head for the Stairmaster at the gym, stadium steps at a local school, or staircase at your office to burn mega calories. Try to accumulate several minutes over the course of a day.
30 minutes = 216 calories burned
Sorry, but you lost me at "stairmaster."
9. Strike Out. This is a great opportunity to do something active and fun as a family instead of camping in front of the television.
60 minutes = 200 calories burned
Strike out? Uh...I'm not sure what this one is about. Playing baseball? Bowling? Looking for gold? Failing at picking up on chicks? No idea.
10. Do your best Lance Armstrong imitation. Get your bike out for a few trips around the block or head to your local bike trail. A 10-12 mph pace is moderate for most people, but you'll burn more calories going uphill and/or faster.
30 minutes = 210 calories
Again, this is called ACTUAL exercise, something which I'm trying to avoid doing. FAIL.
Well, anyway, you get the idea. This article provides lots of fun and unique ideas to "exercise" and burn off some calories without even noticing you're doing it (with a few lame ideas thrown in there to try to trick you into doing ACTUAL exercise.) If you want to read more, the other 10 ideas await you here.