10 Days To Change Your Ways

“Don’t compare yourself with someone else’s version of happy or thin. Accepting yourself burns the most calories.”

Too often the focus with exercise is about beating one’s self up while burning off yesterdays delicious indulgence. When, simply allowing a yummy splurge for the pure joy of it and acknowledging exercise for all it’s important health benefits would be much kinder and more productive .

Honestly, I would be ecstatic if exercise machines never displayed calories; distance, speed, resistance and duration? Perfect!

Of course I understand the importance for many people wanting to lose or maintain a healthy weight and counting calories can be very helpful, but too often calorie counting becomes an obsessive, singular goal.

I encourage my clients to shift their focus on more meaningful, long term benefits and sustainable goals. Mindful eating, portion control and making healthy food choices to reduce health risks (i.e. cancer, diabetes, heart disease), lower body fat. increasing heart and respiratory fitness,  bone density and improving mood, will promote an elevated sense of well-being.

All this being said, we can safely assume that good ole calorie counting is here to stay – at least for now.

So, for the how many calories did I just burn team, hopefully the following information will bring more accuracy and piece of mind to your energy output efforts.

The number of calories you burn depends upon your weight, the activity you are doing and, most importantly, the intensity level with which you are moving. Any exercise or activity that you perform can be done at a variety of intensity levels. If you exercise at a higher intensity level, you will be working harder, expending more energy and burning more calories than someone who is not working quite so hard.

Again, the number of calories you burn will vary depending upon your effort and your weight. For example; a cardio-step class. If you are 120 lbs and use a 4-inch step, you will burn approximately 4.5 calories every minute. If you use 10-inch steps you will burn approximately 7.2 calories each minute. That’s 80 more calories burned in just 30 minutes; 80 more calories burned 5 days a week = 400 calories – gone. Wow! This could mean an approximate 6-7 pound weight loss in one year. Double Wow!  I’m not suggesting that you use a 10-inch step; I just want you to understand how increasing your intensity will increase your energy out-put therefore you will burn up more calories.  But, please give yourself a hug for the strength and endurance gains that are also happening.

There are many exercises which burn calories quickly. The list below gives examples based on a person who weighs 150 pounds. Just remember, you will burn more if you weigh more, and burn fewer calories if you weigh less. These numbers are approximate and will vary depending on your age, weight and effort. After the first 10 days add 5 minutes a day for the next three weeks, bringing you to the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Challenge yourself for 10 days with 10 non-stop minutes of energizing movement and you will be amazed with yourself!

Brisk Walking 70 calories/10 mins

Aerobics 115 calories/10 mins

Gardening 49 calories/10 mins

Racquetball 90 calories/10 mins

Running 131 calories/10 mins

Shopping 42 calories/10 mins

Volleyball 34 calories/10 mins

Climbing stairs 175 calories/10 mins

Basketball 90 calories/10 mins

Dance Exercise 109 calories/10 mins

Jumping Rope 121 calories/10 mins

Playing Soccer 92 calories/10 mins

Please don’t rely entirely on cardio equipment display feedback regarding calories burned. Many cardio machines don’t ask for your weight and will display some random number of calories burned. The number shown is typically for a person that weighs 150 pounds and will not necessarily be accurate for many people. If the machine doesn’t offer a weight input option, don’t believe the number of calories displayed. You’re probably better off working out for the pure health benefits instead of making your workout about burning off last night’s fudge brownie sundae and chili cheese fries.


Did you know that you could burn over 100 calories in twenty minutes by just doing household chores? There are a lot of daily activities that can turn into calorie busters just by increasing the intensity.

Here are some fun ways you burn calories in your everyday life:

-Next time you drive up to an automatic car wash- think twice. In the hour it takes to wash and vacuum your car, you can burn up to 300 calories.

-When a man complains about how long a woman takes to get ready, inform him that you burn 26 calories every ten minutes just by taking a shower and getting dressed.

-If you enjoy having parties, you can feel good about indulging in that piece of cake if you clean up the party afterwards. The hour you spend organizing your furniture before and after your party will burn 450 calories. If it takes you another hour to pick up plates and take down decorations you will burn over 300 calories. Add washing the dishes to this post-party workout, and you’ve said goodbye to another 125 calories. If these chores are performed at a moderate intensity, you can lose up to 800 calories and wave goodbye to pounds along with your party guests.

-Even a trip to the grocery store burns calories! An hour spent adding food to your basket can subtract 130 calories from the bag of cookies you bought to munch on later. Enjoy a brisk 30 minute walk to and from the store and you can subtract another 100 calories from your daily total.

-Next time you’re not in the mood to make dinner, put away the take-out menu. In the time it takes to prepare an evening meal, you will have burned 192 calories. Not to mention, by avoiding take-out, you’ve passed up a potentially fattening and high calorie dinner.

-Simple chores like raking leaves, vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping can burn up to 100 calories every 20 minutes.

-For men and women who love to burn money as well as calories, mall-type shopping, such as walking through stores and trying on clothes, can burn up to 135 calories an hour.

-If all else fails, sleeping burns 50 calories. By the way, if you are exercising regularly you’ll burn even more calories while sleeping!

There you have it, a few activities that are already helping you to feel great and look your best!

Remember, regular moderate exercise will help support and maintain weight loss, prevent weight gain and keep your body and mind healthy and strong!

The bottom line? Move!

Always love


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  1. Another great article, Allison, and yes, I agree with you about where the emphasis should be placed. I don’t use gym equipment, even though there is a fitness center in my complex, but due to my work schedule ( at home or out in the classroom) I do all my work-outs when walking long distances to buildings, I work out in my living room, bedroom, kitchen, and I am fast walk each time I walk my dog; in between, I do yoga, and while I’m working online, I am constantly stretching, twisiting and doing my own pilates/calisthenics.

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