5 Things You Already Do That Are Actually Exercise

If you hate the gym and only run for the bus, then you'll be pleased to hear you could be exercising more than you realise.

You see, when you re-frame exercise to view all movement as an activity that's good for your body, you realise that a lot of the things you do every day already count as exercise.

I know. It's amazing. You're pretty much a marathon runner now. You may need a lie-down.

You see all intentional movement counts. And if you make movement part of your day, you're actually doing exercise. According to Bradly Prigge, wellness exercise specialist for the world famous Mayo Clinic, new guidelines mean that "even small chunks of activity are beneficial, like taking the stairs, walking over to a colleagues desk rather than sending an email, or taking a five-minute stretch break every hour."

Prigge told Bustle that the important thing is to focus on what provides you energy and what makes you feel better.

So. What is it that you're doing that is just so good? Just the normal stuff. So it's genius. And can make you feel very good about yourself if you haven't spent all weekend on the couch but haven't quite made it to the gym.

READ MORE: Turns Out We're Hard-Wired To Not Like Exercise

"According to the Department of Health, the recommended amount of physical activity for adults is 2 ½ to 5 hours per week to stay healthy," says Ben Lucas, owner and co-founder of Flow Athletic.

"They also advise muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week. If you add up just how much energy and movement is required for everyday activities and household upkeep, it's definitely classified as exercise," he said.

Cleaning the house

Doing simple things like mopping the floors, vacuuming, dusting and anything that includes a bit of movement will help, but do it right and you can burn up to 330 calories per hour.  Lucas told 10 daily, "cleaning up the kitchen which means multiple trips up and down stairs to take the rubbish out, this really breaks a sweat!"

Then there’s all the little things such vacuuming the rooms, ironing the clothes, washing the dishes, making the beds etc. All of these require you to be on your feet, moving and lifting which requires energy. This may just change the way you look at doing chores… picking up all the kids toys and folding all the washing might be an enjoyable fat-burning experience.
Grocery Shopping

Just walking up and down the aisles in Aldi can really work up a sweat -- especially if you space out your "big shops" to get some heavy items in your trolley, and put them in first so you're pushing them around.

If you want to work in a little more exercise while doing your weekly shopping, health website Livestrong recommends doing some deep-knee squats when selecting items off those lower shelves.

"Think about how many aisles there are in a supermarket and the time it takes to do a grocery shop for the week," added Lucas. "It almost always takes over an hour to fill your trolley and this is similar to doing a brisk walk outside."

READ MORE: The Weird Thing Walking Does To Your Brain

Mowing the lawn

Yes yes, we all live in units, too, but you could go home and mow the lawn for parents if necessary, and after you hear it can be a real workout especially if you're using an old fashioned mower, you may offer your services on a regular basis. Add in some hills and the number of calories burned can get higher!

"Of course, this is all dependent on your weight to the actual amount of calories burned, but it is estimated that mowing the lawn for around 30 minutes translates to 114 burned calories," said Lucas.


Weeding, replanting, mulching -- there are many things that can be done in the garden that will get your heart rate up, and look at all that squatting and bending you do while weeding, pruning, and watering your plants.

"Outside green maintenance requires so much energy!" agreed Lucas. "For instance, pulling out the weeds, trimming the garden hedges or replanting would be considered your weekly strength training."

Having sex

It's not a chore (well, not to most of us) but if you can fit more of it in, you will definitely get the rewards.

A relatively sweaty session can burn as many calories as a walk. A short walk, but a walk nonetheless. One study found that most men burn about four calories per minute having sex, compared to more than twice that while jogging. We know which we'd rather do.

So you will just have to have more sex, we guess.

Feature image: Getty