Around the holidays, how many calories do I burn when I….

Okay, we all tend to keep talking about all the extra calories eaten this time of year, which is understandable since it seems like feasting is a large part of the general merriment that occurs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. While those extra calories definitely may not be a stretch of the truth, we also are forgetting about all the extra tasks most of us take on this time of year, as well…and that associate caloric expenditure.

Let’s give ourselves a break and realize that hey – you do a LOT around the holidays and the extra calories burned can really add up! From the cleaning, cooking, baking and shopping that occur before you host a party to the deep cleaning and preparation before your house guests come – your role as hostess-with-the-mostest slash Santa Claus Extraordinaire can add up to hundreds of extra calories burned in a single day vs. any other day of the year!

After my latest exhaustive house cleaning (that included far too many pine needles on the ground that seem to really spread everywhere…seriously, how does that happen?), and I mean exhaustive…I got to wondering – how many calories might I just have burned? Seriously, it’s got to add up – crawling around on hands and knees to vacuum under couches certainly feels like it should be burning calories – so how many are we talking here?

The folks over at did a little study to find that out!

So go ahead – feel good about this and give yourself credit for all that you do!

With those extra tasks I take on this time of year, how many calories to I burn when I….



(Based on a 40-year-old 5’5″, 140-pound woman. Men, and women weighing over 140 pounds will burn more calories during the same activities.)

  • Bathing dog (to look and smell pretty for guests!): 15 minutes = 56 calories
  • Wrapping gifts or making crafts (hello party favors): 30 minutes = 48
  • Bagging grass & leaves: 30 minutes = 127 calories
  • Shoveling snow by hand: 30 minutes = 144 calories
  • Building a snowman: 30 minutes = 115 calories
  • Light baking (of all your favorite treats): 1 hour = 159 calories
  • Tending bar for guests (not drinking it yourself!): 1 hour = 146 calories
  • Changing bed linens (for the out-of-towners): 15 minutes = 40 calories
  • Loading & Unloading the car (suitcases, groceries, kids): 10 minutes = 32 calories
  • Carrying groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
  • Taking out Trash: 2 minutes = 5 calories
  • Carrying wood or lumber (Marshmallows not included): 5 minutes = 26 calories
  • General to Heavy house cleaning: 1 hour = 191 calories (I knew it!!! :))
  • Clearing dishes from the table: 5 minutes = 13 calories
  • Washing dishes by hand: 15 minutes = 37 calories
  • Dusting: 15 minutes = 40 calories
  • Family Reunion (includes sitting, talking and eating…not fighting): 1 hour = 95 calories
  • Food preparation: 1 hour = 195 calories
  • Flag Football (fun for the whole family): 1 hour = 508 calories
  • Putting away groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
  • Quick nature hike after dinner: 15 minutes = 95 calories
  • Mopping floors: 15 minutes = 56 calories
  • Playing catch (baseball or football): 30 minutes = 79 calories
  • Grocery shopping (with cart): 30 minutes = 73 calories
  • Grocery shopping (with basket): 30 minutes = 79 calories
  • Socializing while standing: 1 hour = 127 calories

To read the full article, click here.


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