Health, Mind & Body Health, Mind & Body Health, Mind & Body

Daily activities can burn calories

Some people think they have to spend hours at the gym sweating on the treadmill or elliptical trainer in order to burn calories and lose weight. As it turns out, the things you do every single day could be burning more calories than you realized. Some discipline with your diet and certain healthy habits can make the difference for those attempting to lose weight.

Getting eight hours of sleep can burn more than 300 calories for the average person. But there's a good chance you are interested in what activities you can do while awake to help burn calories.

Courtesy of Discovery Health and Harvard Medical School, here are common everyday activities and how many calories can be burned depending on weight. These figures are based on a person weighing around 150 pounds and a duration of one hour of activity.

* Supermarket shopping: Pushing a wagon around the supermarket for an hour can burn 240 calories or more. Up the ante by bagging groceries yourself and packing and unpacking them from the car.

* Raking leaves: If you spent time manually raking leaves this past fall, you were doing something good for your body. In addition to working several muscle groups, you may have spent 300 calories.

* Dusting: Spring cleaning is right around the corner, and that can be good news for your health. Dusting alone can burn as much as 160 calories.

* Cooking: Here's a reason to get fired up about cooking. Making a simple meal can add up to 200 calories lost. Just don't sabotage those lost calories by cooking up a fattening dinner.

* Moving: Packing and moving may seem like a big task one rarely looks forward to, but carrying boxes can burn 460 calories an hour. Packing, moving and unpacking yourself may be the diet plan you've been seeking.

* Painting: Perhaps you've been procrastinating on that house painting project. Here's inspiration to break out the rollers and brushes. Spending an hour painting can burn 350 calories. After several hours applying a primer and then top coat, you may find you painted yourself thinner.

* Community service: If you want to help the environment and your health, spending time picking up trash from a park or seaside can shed some serious calories -- 450 an hour.

* Playing with kids: Engaging in some fun family time can burn around 400 calories. Plus, it's a great way for parents and children to bond.