Recreation Wellness

Feel the Burn: Weird Ways to Burn Calories

the calories burned* by doing things not normally associated with exercise

V1 Staff |

Skipping: kiss 379 calories goodbye.
Skipping: kiss 379 calories goodbye.

Calorie burnin' based on a 150-pound person doing each activity for 30 minutes, stats from Sparkpeople & Health Status.

Skipping: 379

If you skip someplace instead of walk, you burn almost four times the amount of calories! No wonder elementary schoolers are so dang skinny.

Scuba diving: 242

While you’re looking for treasure this summer in sunken ships, don’t be surprised when you look “ship shape” once you surface.

Ultimate frisbee: 234

Burning twice the amount of calories as disc golf, it’s no wonder it has “ultimate” in the name.

206 calories
206 calories
Chopping wood: 206

There’s a reason Paul Bunyan was all burly, and it ain’t just all that body hair, you know what we mean?

Fencing: 195

To all you jocks who bullied all of LARPers in school, don’t be surprised when they get all ripped and start looking for revenge.

Mowing the lawn: 182

Pushing a power mower not only makes your lawns look fabulous, but with the extra pounds you’re shedding, you’ll be just as fabulous in no time.

Disco dancing: 182

Make sure your ’fro is on point before heading to the club.

Gardening: 180

You may think this is a lot for something simple like gardening, but believe it or not this doesn’t include any digging (just weeding and general work), which runs about 294 calories per half hour.

180 calories
180 calories
Cleaning gutters: 180

With these kinds of benefits, who would have thought it would take so much begging for this annual cleaning burden to get done.

Unicycling: 174

Not just for clowns anymore, these tricky bikes utilize a whole new set of muscles and turn a lot more heads in the process.

Painting a house: 171

If painting a picture is 147 calories, then the difference here must be climbing a ladder. Paint cans are heavy, too!

Heavy house cleaning: 148

We don’t know what to say here, other than the people living in light houses got a bad break.

Sex: 144

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that cleaning gutters is way ahead of this on the list.

111 calories
Hacky sack: 141

Nice! You can burn calories at every Phish concert in the ’90s! That’s great! Hint: You burn more if you wear your knit baja sweatshirt.

Raking: 132

Combine this with mowing the lawn or cleaning gutters to shed pounds doing all sorts of pesky chores! Bonus!

Trampoline: 111

It’s like jumping rope, only with no rope, less work, and much more fun. So far as we know, double-bounces do not double the amount of calories burned.

Ping-pong: 111

You almost burn more if you’re bad at it.

Acting & Playing Music: 105

Adds to the cultural landscape, impresses your crushes, and makes you slimmer; what’s not to like?

111 calories
111 calories
Walking backwards: 102

It looks weird, sure, but does more than a typical walk and helps your spine, balance, metabolism, and energy levels, apparently.

Other Burners:

  • Fishing: 100
  • Hula hooping: 90
  • Croquet: 90
  • Brushing your teeth: 85
  • Billiards & darts: 83
  • Shopping: 80
  • Driving: 72
  • Studying: 63
  • Playing board games: 54
  • Writing: 36
  • Sleeping: 31