That’s Exercise?

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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