Some of your daily activities can count as exercise and you might not even know it!  Check out the list below and see if your daily tasks make the cut as exercise.

Does It Count? IT DEPENDS
A leisurely stop-and-shop visit to the mall won’t get your heart rate up to the cardio zone and keep it there. What does? A walk at a peppy pace of at least three miles per hour done in chunks of 10 minutes or more. Still, adding up steps at any speed is smart since studies show that those who take more of them are healthier.

Cleaning the House
Does It Count? YES
There’s a reason they call it housework! You can burn serious calories and work major muscle groups during a marathon cleaning session—mopping floors for 30 minutes burns 112 calories and works your shoulders and biceps. Chores that don’t get your heart pumping? Folding laundry, ironing and washing the dishes.  

Taking the Stairs

Does It Count? YES
Think of climbing a flight of stairs as a series of butt-firming, leg-toning lunges that counts as anaerobic exercise. (Spread it over 30-minutes on the Stairmaster and now we’re talking cardio.) To get the best fitness benefits, it’s best to take them two at a time, according to a study at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. This burns more calories.

Carrying Your Baby or Pushing a Stroller

Does It Count? IT DEPENDS
New moms likely rack up a couple dozen biceps curls each day by scooping up their baby and a prolonged arm muscle contraction by cradling him—but cardio exercise it’s not. A better bet: Pushing the stroller at a 3-mile-per-hour pace or playing tag with your toddler.

Does It Count? YES
Between all the up-and-down moves, lugging materials from the shed, winding up a hose after watering the lawn, and much more, 60 minutes of gardening can burn more than 250 calories all while working your arms and backs of your legs.  Spring is in the air- ladies; get your gardening gear ready!

Walking Your Dog
Does It Count? YES

You have to walk your dog anyway, so bump up the workout with this little game: When you’re in your yard or a fenced-in park, get a head start on your dog so it’s chasing you. Then change direction so it races for you again. Try walking for three minutes and then sprinting for 30 seconds. Chase your pup five times every doggy outing, and you’ll burn 98 calories per 20-minute stroll.

Playing Wii Games
Does It Count? IT DEPENDS
You won’t work up a sweat if your video game of choice is Guitar Hero, but a study by the American Council on Exercise found that others like Wii Fit’s Island Run and Free Run burn about 5.5 calories per minute. Still, say the study authors, it’s a “very, very mild workout” so opting for a Wii Sports title may be more of the jumping around you need to turn up the burn.

-Jessica Brown

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