That’s Exercise?

When it comes to shaping up, everyday activities do add up. Here's the proof!

By Chandni Jhunjhunwala from Reader's Digest | June 2007

Can doing laundry help make you fit? You’d better believe it, says Ellen Langer, PhD, a Harvard University psychologist. She told 44 hotel maids their job was a good workout. A month later they’d shed about two pounds. They didn’t work any harder, but their mind-set had changed: They believed cleaning could help them shape up, and somehow it did. “If you put the mind in a healthy place, the body will be in a healthy place,” says Langer.

But Cedric Bryant, PhD, of the American Council on Exercise, isn’t so sure. “I wonder if changing their perception had an impact on their behavior outside work. Did they think, Jeez, I’m becoming healthy while I work — now I should eat better? The study didn’t measure that.” In any case, everyday activities do add up. Check out the stats below from The Duke Diet.

Move a Little, Lose a Lot!

Activity: Taking a walk on your lunch break Duration: 10 minutes, 5 times a week Calories Burned Weekly: 170 Pounds Lost in a Year: 2.5

Activity: Using the stairs instead of the elevator Duration: 5 minutes, 5 times a week Calories Burned Weekly: 225 Pounds Lost in a Year: 3

Activity: Housework Duration: 2 hours a week Calories Burned Weekly: 408 Pounds Lost in a Year: 6

Activity: Playing actively with kids Duration: 1 hour, 3 times a week Calories Burned Weekly: 612 Pounds Lost in a Year

Activity: Working in your yard or garden Duration: 2 hours a week Calories Burned Weekly: 712 Pounds Lost in a Year: 10

Activity: Dancing Duration: 2 hours a week Calories Burned Weekly: 816 Pounds Lost in a Year: 12

From The Duke Diet (Ballantine)

See Also: More Weight Loss and Exercise Advice 4 Ways to Uncover the Motivation to Lose Weight

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