ENJOYING A SMOOCH
Maybe you haven't spent significant amounts of time kissing since you were a teenager, and these days you'd rather sleep than smooch. But if passion for your partner isn't enough motivation, consider the fact that kissing and hugging can take inches off your waistline.
If it's really passionate1, according to health expert Professor Bryant Stamford of Hanover College, Indiana, a good snog can burn up to two calories a minute.
So it might be worth greeting your partner with more than the usual brief, peck on the cheek.
Calories burned per hour: Up to 120
Equivalent exercise: A 20 minute run
TRYING ON CLOTHES
Carting armfuls of clothes in and out of the changing room, struggling into tight polo necks and out of pencil skirts, marching determinedly2 from one shop to the next and back again - it's just as exhausting as a trip to the gym and, hurrah3, just as good for you.
According to a recent survey by Debenhams, the average woman burns 385 calories looking for the perfect outfit4, taking an average of 7,305 steps.
Calories burned per hour: Up to 130
Equivalent exercise: 20 push-ups
You probably do it every night without thinking about it.
And while shoving a ready meal in the microwave won't burn much off, an hour's chopping, lifting, stirring and blending will give you a decent mini-workout, plus the satisfaction that you've earned the meal you're about to eat.
Calories burned per hour: 150 to 240
Equivalent exercise: A half-hour jog
A SUPERMARKET DASH
Just doing the weekly shop can burn calories faster than Jessica Ennis-Hill can say ‘heptathlon'.
As your trolley5 fills up, you're effectively doing resistance training, firming up arms, legs and torso. Piling your trolley with heavy items first - tins, bottles and potatoes - intensifies6 the workout.
Calories burned per hour: Up to 200 with a heavy shop
Equivalent exercise: 40 minutes of badminton
A LONG, HOT BATH
Sinking gently into a hot bath is all about relaxing and singing along to Radio 2, not dieting, surely?
Not so: a Loughborough University study revealed that a steamy bath of 40c can melt away 140 calories (that's a significant 7 percent of a daily allowance of 2,000), and that sitting in one for an hour causes an 80 percent increase in energy expenditure7, lowering blood glucose8 levels as a result.
Calories burned per hour: Up to 140
Equivalent exercise: 15 minutes' vigorous swimming
HAVING A GOOD LAUGH
It's hard to believe that sitting in the cinema watching the Ab Fab movie could do you as much good as a post-work circuit of the gym, but laughter is a full-body experience that can leave you as exhausted9 as a treadmill10 session.
Research from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, published in the International Journal of Obesity11, found that just 15 minutes of good, hard laughing a day will burn up to 40 calories - enough to drop 4 lb of excess weight a year.
Try laughing little and often, whether it's during a phone call with your best friend, or watching a DVD of your favourite comedian12.
Calories burned per hour: Up to 160
Equivalent exercise: Half an hour of physically demanding gardening
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