15 Ways to Burn 500 Calories Without Technically Exercising

(Random bit of entirely unrelated knowledge before continuing this post: a piece of homemade cherry pie is around 400 calories. Moving on.)

So you want to lose weight, but exercise isn’t your thing. I get that. Or maybe exercise is your thing, but right now your bigger thing is nursing a newborn or homeschooling what feels like half the community but is really your own children. I get that, too. Or maybe, just maybe, you think exercise is mind-numbingly monotonous unless it can be done in a national park or an ocean. I get that, too.

I know some studies say that weight loss is more than a simple calories in/calories out equation, but for now let’s ignore those scientific studies and stick to remedial math. Burning 500 extra calories a day will result in losing a pound a week. After a year, you will be 52 pounds lighter…if life were as easy as basic math, which it isn’t.

To make burning those 500 calories more fun, I found this article about ways to burn 500 calories. Unfortunately, many of them are basically “Exercise until you almost die.” Check them out. As for me, I’m not into near-death fitness, so I garnered the least intense, most fun, or most practical methods of burning 500 calories. In other words, I gathered the ideas that looked the least like actual exercise.

Here are fifteen fun (or at least practical) out-of-the-gym ways to burn 500 calories.

1. Play guitar standing up for 130 minutes. That’s intense, but think how good you’ll get!

2. Shop for two hours and 15 minutes. Some of us might think this is more torturous than a treadmill.

3. Give a two-hour massage. I volunteer if you need a subject.

4. Work in the garden for 90 minutes. Pretty flowers; yummy veggies.

5. Clean the house for 2 hours. You have to do it anyway.

6. Mow the lawn for 75 minutes. Ahem–that’s a push mower.

7. If you’re a gearhead, work on a car for 80 minutes. Vrooom.

8. Shovel snow for 50 minutes. Throw in a snowball fight and you’ve got extra burn. Wheeee!

9. Play with kids for an hour and a half. This ties apron strings and gets you all fitter…or more fit.

10. Ride a bike for one hour. That’s not exercise if you ride a real bike someplace fun, or ride a stationary bike while watching, I dunno, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World with your kids who share your off-beat sense of humor.

11. Smooch your hubby for six hours. Yes, that says six hours.

12. Eating for five hours will burn 500 calories. Let’s not address the logic of this weight loss recommendation.

13. Go bowling for two hours. That could almost negate the nachos you eat while you’re bowling. Woo hoo!

14. Ride horses for one hour and 45 minutes and you’re good to go. The horse is even “gooder to go.”

15. Lie still for 7 hours and 15 minutes. Hey, I do that every night. Check!

Before you call the cookie cops on me for sounding like a lazy mama who lies around eating pie in an effort to burn calories, I do exercise and don’t eat much pie or cookies–I only talk about eating pie and cookies. I walk regularly with the dog, hike mountains and canyons with a three-year-old on my back, and do basic muscle exercises with the family.

I do not go to the gym or run, unless I’m being chased by a bear that didn’t read the “Don’t run from a bear” pamphlets. And, yes, I was an A student who flunked gym in college, thank you. I just can’t do gyms. I can do trails, horses, and lying still for 7.25 hours.

I’m not sure I even want to ask for your thoughts on this post. Okay, fine–thoughts?