Do the Dishes and Take Out the Trash
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15 Household Tasks That Burn Major Calories

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Do the Dishes and Take Out the Trash
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Feel the Burn

If you can't make it to the gym and can't get motivated to work out at home, simple household chores and yardwork can add exercise to your day — with the bonus of a sparkling house and immaculate yard. Here are some of the biggest calorie-burners, according to calculations from CalorieLab for a 160-pound person (if you weigh more, you'll burn more). 

Related: 23 Natural Ways to Boost Energy and Fight Fatigue

Carrying Boxes and Moving Furniture
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Carrying Boxes and Moving Furniture

Calories burned: 182
There's little time to go to the gym during a big move, but that might be for the best. Carrying all those boxes and moving furniture can torch 182 calories in a half-hour. Squat while bending down to pick up heavy objects to burn more calories, as well as avoid straining back muscles.

Mowing Lawn
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Mowing the Lawn

Calories burned: 164
Walking behind a typical self-propelled power mower for just 30 minutes can obliterate 164 calories. Increase the burn to 182 calories by using a push mower instead. Just resist the temptation to splurge on a riding mower, which would let you burn only 52 calories in the same amount of time.

Cleaning the Gutters
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Cleaning the Gutters

Calories burned: 146
Cleaning gutters probably ranks pretty low on most people's list of preferred ways to spend a Saturday, but there is an upside: Just a half-hour of doing this dreaded job burns 146 calories. Even better, climbing and grabbing to complete the task engages muscles throughout the body, and staying balanced on a ladder engages core muscles.

Painting
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Painting

Calories burned: 126
Resist the urge to spend big on a professional paint job. A half-hour of DIY interior painting can burn 126 calories — and save you money. It also works major muscles as you squat and stretch to reach every corner. Got some exterior painting to do? That burns 20 calories more.

Raking the Lawn
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Raking the Lawn

Calories burned: 120
Step away from the leaf blower and grab that dusty rake – just a half-hour of clearing leaves off the lawn burns 120 calories. That puts raking on par with a brisk walk. It also helps build upper-body and core strength.

Carrying Groceries Upstairs
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Carrying Groceries Upstairs

Calories burned: 118
Take heart if you live in a walk-up: 15 minutes of hauling groceries upstairs burns 118 calories. Carrying bags and climbing stairs is especially effective because it combines cardio and strength training.

Weeding
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Gardening

Calories burned: 108
The satisfaction of caring for those prize petunias is multiplied when you realize that gardening is also a way to get some exercise. Power tools like tillers have the most calorie-burning power (182 for every half-hour of use), followed by digging (146), weeding (126), and planting (also 126).

Scrubbing the Floors
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Scrubbing the Floors

Calories burned: 102
Dingy floors? Get down on your hands and knees with a scrub brush to burn 102 calories in a half-hour. For an even better workout, try contracting your abs every time you reach out with a cloth or sponge. Breaking out the mop isn't quite as good a workout, but a half-hour of mopping can still burn 90 calories. 

Related: 7 Ways to Swiffer for Less

Vacuuming the Floors
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Vacuuming

Calories burned: 90
Give the whole house a thorough vacuuming to zap about 90 calories in 30 minutes. Pushing a vacuum engages your arm muscles; to get your legs in the game, try doing lunges and work those thighs.

Washing the Dog
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Washing the Dog

Calories burned: 90
Skip the groomer to burn a few extra calories. Giving Fido a half-hour bath can burn up to 90 calories. Make sure to run the dog ragged before bathtime, too: Walking and running while playing with your pet can burn an additional 108 calories (and make the job easier).

Caring for a Small Child
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Caring for a Small Child

Calories burned: 72
Everyone knows kids can be exhausting, but exactly how much energy do they require? You can burn 72 calories in just a half-hour of typical child care, including dressing, bathing, feeding, and, of course, occasionally picking them up and putting them down. Getting outside to run around with them can more than double the burn.

Washing the Windows
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Washing the Windows

Calories burned: 68
Not only will all the windows in the house sparkle, but your arms and back will get a nice workout from 30 minutes of washing. Make it more intense by exaggerating every wiping motion.

Cooking and Food Preparation
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Cooking and Food Prep

Calories burned: 54
Even preparing family meals can help burn some calories — 54 in a half-hour, to be exact. Get an even better workout by dancing while cooking and throwing in some squats while loading or unloading the dishwasher.

Shoveling Snow
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Shoveling Snow

Calories burned: 221
A half-hour of shoveling snow can zap 221 calories. Just be careful: Thousands of injuries and even heart attacks have been associated with snow removal. Be sure to warm up, pace yourself, and push heavy snow instead of lifting it whenever possible.

Snowblowing
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Snowblowing

Calories burned: 126
Even the "lazy" alternative to show shoveling can be a workout: A half-hour of snowblowing can zap 126 calories. As with shoveling, the combination of cold weather and maneuvering through snow can put stress on the heart, particularly if the snow is deep, so take similar precautions.