Updated 26 November 2013

10 unusual ways to burn Christmas kilojoules

To save you from giving up your much-loved yuletide treats there are in fact many ways you can counteract the Christmas kilojoules.


Sadly, many people cannot have Christmas without weight gain. It’s like a Christmas tree with no presents, a fire place with no stocking. But to save you from giving up your much-loved yuletide treats there are in fact many ways you can counteract the Christmas kilojoules.

Decorating your home can help you to burn Christmas kilojoules.

Deck the halls

You may not think decorating your house for Christmas is a particularly strenuous task, but boy does it burn those kilojoules! Hoisting yourself into the attic and carrying heavy boxes full of baubles and ornaments definitely plays its part in the Christmas calorie burn off. Not to mention lugging the tree into your home from the car! Shifting boxes in this way for about an hour can burn around 1470 kilojoules. That’s the equivalent to burning off a mince pie with some cream.

Shop ‘til you drop

Facing the crowds and carrying all those bags of gifts sure does get your heart rate up. Pushing a shopping trolley up the aisles for around half an hour will burn over 420 kilojoules and this number will surely increase at Christmas time, since you buy so much! Make sure you pack your own shopping at the checkout and take your goods to the car, remembering to take your trolley back, all to boost your kilojoule burn further. Lugging heavy shopping bags around the high street will also burn the kilojoules too – so there’s even more reason to be generous this year and buy more gifts!

Clean up act

Cleaning up after all those parties or before your guests arrive will definitely burn some kilojoules this Christmas. Changing bed sheets, tidying away and sweeping up all that Christmas glitter will all get your heart rate up, so get cleaning! Dusting for half an hour burns around 336 kilojoules while mopping for 15 minute burns around 294 kilojoules. Vacuuming for 30 minutes will account for around 504 kilojoules, which equates to a 175ml glass of red wine, while the same time spent ironing will burn around 315 kilojoules–about the equivalent of a mini quiche.

Fresh air

After that rather hefty lunch of roast turkey and all the trimmings you may fancy a brisk walk to make room for the Christmas pudding. A one hour walk after lunch will burn around 1176 kilojoules (walking at the average pace of 3mph) which equates to 100g of Camembert cheese. If you have a dog you can burn further calories by throwing a toy or stick, or running around with the kids will be sure to burn even more.

Cooking up a treat

With so much food to prepare and so many mouths to feed at Christmas you will be pleased to hear that half an hour on your feet preparing a meal will burn approximately 294 kilojoules, and if you are going back and forth to set the table this will add more kilojoules to your burn count. The actual act of eating your meal will account for around 210 kilojoules, and then you’ve got the washing up to do which will burn about 168 kilojoules for every 15 minutes you are scrubbing, drying and putting away. Scrub harder for maximum benefit (and for extra brownie points from Santa).

Kissing under the mistletoe

Kilojoule burning doesn’t have to be hard work and luckily the Christmas perk of kissing under the mistletoe burns kilojoules too! Half an hour of kissing could help you burn in excess of 126 kilojoules. So for each cheeky mistletoe moment this year you could burn the equivalent to one chocolate coin – so pucker up!

Rock around the Christmas tree

All those party invites not only make you the popular one, but also a calorie burning machine! You can burn around 819 kilojoules if you dance for half an hour on the dance floor. But if you keep going all night then you could end up burning the equivalent to a festive helping of cheese, crackers and wine!

Wrap it up

Wrapping gifts at Christmas is an essential, but it can be a lot more productive than you think. Wrapping presents for one hour can burn 504 kilojoules. That’s a glass of champagne to celebrate! If you choose to wrap all of your gifts in one sitting then you will burn more calories than you’d expect, so get organised and set some time aside to wrap them all in one go.

Waiting for Santa

You’re going to be pretty worn-out after all that decorating, shopping and partying, but even when you finally get some shut eye on Christmas Eve you are still burning calories. Yes, an average night’s sleep of around eight hours can account for over 1680 kilojoules. That’s the equivalent of a glass of eggnog with rum. That’s more than enough reason to help you get to sleep before Father Christmas arrives!

   (, December 2012)

(Picture: Decorating Christmas tree from Shutterstock)

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