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Many everyday activities, such as home repairs and gardening may be as good as exercise, according to an October British Journal of Sports Medicine study. But does that mean you can skip your daily workout?
According to the study, if you engage in these household activities regularly, you may slash your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
And there's even more good news on this front. Sex may also be a type of exercise, according to an October study in the journal PLOS One. Researchers found that young men burn an average of 4.2 calories per minute, and young women burn about 3.1 calories per minute during sex.
But don't let that gym membership lapse just yet. If your entire workout regimen consists of some light cleaning for a half an hour every week, well, that's hardly enough to burn a significant number of calories. [Infographic: How Many Calories Am I Burning?]
In fact, there's some danger in calling these day-to-day activities exercise, according to the results of a BMC Public Health study. Researchers followed the habits of more than 4,000 people and found that those who counted housework towards their exercise goals were heavier on average than those who didn't. The reason isn't clear, but it could be that these people were overestimating the time or effort needed to complete their chores.
So it seems the bottom line is that activities like housework, gardening and sex do count as exercise, but if you're serious about your health, it's probably best to schedule more traditional workouts. But don't fret over the idea. Use these simple tips to get yourself into the “exercise groove.”
Schedule your workouts now. You don't have to know exactly what time you'll be working out, but it helps to know where exercise fits in your day. Will you work out first thing in the morning? Directly from work? Will you go home to feed the fish first? Plan your day, including when and how you will exercise.
Act like you mean it. Anyone who has ever been stuck in the “I'll exercise tomorrow” cycle knows that it's not enough to say you're going to do something. If you plan to exercise first thing in the morning, set your alarm and lay out every bit of clothing and equipment you'll need before you go to bed. If exercise will come later, pack a gym bag and leave it by the door. These are small actions, but they may give you the momentum you need to keep going.
Grab a buddy. Sometimes, we just need a little moral support. When you can combine quality time with a friend and a workout, doesn't the latter seem a little less intimidating?
Healthy Bites appears weekly on LiveScience. Deborah Herlax Enos is a certified nutritionist and a health coach and weight loss expert in the Seattle area with more than 20 years of experience. Read more tips on her blog, Health in a Hurry!
Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Residents of southern Japan and South Korea are bracing for Typhoon Soulik to pose serious threats to lives and property into Thursday.
Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Cast as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 25, 2017. The storm caused catastrophic damage along the Texas coast, dropping record-breaking rainfall in the affected region.
A system that has a history of producing flooding and violent thunderstorms will threaten an expansive area of the central United States into Monday night.
A sweep of cooler air in the central United States will be preceded by disruptive downpours and locally severe thunderstorms into the start of the new week.
As the Indonesian island of Lombok continues to recover from the devastating earthquake earlier this month, two more powerful tremors jolted the island in a span of less than 12 hours to end the weekend.
The northeastern United States will be treated to an even stronger push of refreshing air later this week but not before drenching thunderstorms ramp back up across the region by midweek.
Typhoon Soulik will not be the only tropical system to bring impacts to Japan this week as Cimaron strengthens and threatens the country later in the week.
Despite weakening and taking a track south of the Big Island, Major Hurricane Lane will still stir dangerous seas across the Hawaiian Islands this week.