Burn Calories With These Thanksgiving Activities

The average person consumes 4,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day. This beloved holiday is filled with friends, family and butter. And, if the conspicuous calorie content isn't enough, there's the hours of preparation, which make finding time for fitness even more challenging.

So what do you do? Don't skip the sides and don't skimp on family time. We've highlighted a few exercises that burn a ton of calories without taking you away from the day's responsibilities. The secret to getting the most burn for your buck is mindfulness. Be aware that in addition to what you are actually doing, you are trying to burn maximum calories. This mindfulness is essential to turning these everyday activities into waist slimming, heart pumping exercise.

Mindfulness Matters

A recent study observed two groups of hotel maids. One group was told that the hours they spent at work cleaning counted as serious exercise and burned a lot of calories, the other group wasn't told anything. The group that was told about the exercise benefits of their work proceeded to lose an average of 5 to 10 pounds over the course of the next three months even though neither group made other dramatic changes to their diet or exercise plans. The control group showed no change in weight.

The results of the study seem to indicate that knowing the potential calorie burning benefits of the activity pushed the participants to expand more energy on the tasks, thereby increasing the calorie burn of the activities and leading to the weight loss effects. Mindfulness can really help you increase your calorie burn!

This time of year it's really hard to find the time for exercise, so how great is it that you can find ways to burn lots of calories doing the things you would be doing anyways. And if you're really feeling ambitious, try one of our awesome at home work outs. Twenty short minutes in the living room could burn another 200 to 300 calories. 

So go ahead, have some gravy, but make sure to include some of these activities in your holiday schedule and be mindful of their calorie burning benefits.

  • Cleaning House for two hours = 477 Calories
  • Scrubbing Floors for 30 minutes = 187 Calories  
  • Vacuuming for 30 minutes = 119 Calories
  • Food Preparation for one hour =  170 Calories
  • Grocery Shopping for 45 minutes = 127 Calories
  • Going for a Walk with a Friend for 30 minutes = 119 Calories
  • Playing with Kids for one hour = 272 Calories
  • Lying on the Couch Watching Football for one hour = 68 Calories

TOTAL = 1,539 Calories

Note: These totals are calculated for a 150 pound woman.

Active logoEnjoy your feast guilt free and sign up for a turkey trot.

Dena Stern is a certified personal trainer and the Content & Community Manager for Exercise.com. She works with a highly trained group of nutritionists, trainers, yoga and Pilates instructors and athletes to provide the best information, tools and motivation related to exercise and fitness.


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