Updated 02 June 2014

10 ways to burn more kilojoules

Weight loss doesn’t have to involve countless hours sweating the kilojoules off. The simple equation is that you have to use more kilojoules than you consume to lose weight.


Weight loss doesn’t have to involve countless hours sweating the kilojoules off. The simple equation is that you have to use more kilojoules than you consume to lose weight. Regular everyday activities, from getting ready to gardening to housework, or even sleeping, can all help burn hundreds of unexpected kilojoules every day.

There's no way to give a universal answer to how many kilojoules you will burn during a given activity because everybody burns calories differently – a heavier person will naturally burn more kilojoules – but these activities are all guaranteed to add, rather unexpectedly, to your kilojoule burning count.

Kilojoule burning tip 1: Brush your teeth

Frequently when you open your mouth, you add to your kilojoule intake, but you can start to burn kilojoules just by opening up and brushing your teeth.  Brushing your pearly whites (two minutes minimum please) will burn around six kilojoules. Brush your teeth several times a day and you’re multiplying this. To add to effectiveness, why not stand on one leg for one minute and then swap onto the other for a minute – this will burn an extra 84 kilojoules.

Kilojoules burning tip 2: Be house proud

Housework is a chore, but rather than dread it, use it as a workout. Dust for half an hour and burn around 80 kilojoules; mop the floor for 15 minutes and burn around 294 kilojoules – even more if you got at it extra vigorously. Vacuuming for 30 minutes will account for around 509 kilojoules, and the same time spent ironing will burn around 315 kilojoules.

Kilojoules burning tip 3: Green fingers

If you’ve still got energy, you can move outdoors and look for opportunities to burn more kilojoules. Digging for an hour could expend nearly 2100 kilojoules, mowing the lawn for 30 minutes burns over 420 kilojoules – even more if you use a push mower – and if you lose the bag attachment you can spend another 20 minutes raking up, accounting for around 294 kilojoules.

Kilojoule burning tip 4: Your car awaits

Make a serious dent into your kilojoule intake by washing the car. If you do a proper job, both inside and out, this could take you up to two hours, during which you may have burned off more than 2100 kilojoules. And if you are extra proud of your set of wheels, you might want to go one step further and give it a nice wax too to up the kilojoule burning effect.

Kilojoule burning tip 5: Shop 'til you drop

Pushing a shopping trolley up the aisles for around half an hour will burn over 420 kilojoules and this number will increase the more you put in your trolley and the heavier it gets (healthy low- kilojoules options only please). Make sure you pack your own shopping at the check out and take your goods to the car, remembering to take your trolley back, all to boost your kilojoule burn further. If you are just getting a few items, then shop with a basket rather than a trolley for maximum impact.

Kilojoule burning tip 6: Make a meal of it

Half an hour on your feet preparing a meal will burn approximately 70 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 50 kilojoules, and then you’ve got the dishes to do which will burn about 168 kilojoules for every 15 minutes you are scrubbing, drying and putting away. Scrub harder for maximum benefit.

Kilojoule burning tip 7: Relax, don’t do it

You may think it unlikely that you can burn kilojoules by relaxing, but you do. One hour spent in front of the TV burns around 65 kilojoules. Opt to do without the TV remote and you can boost your kilojoules burned just by getting up occasionally to switch channels. You could even do another activity while watching TV such as knitting, sewing or even typing on your laptop to boost your kilojoule burn.

Kilojoule burning tip 8: Toilet duty

Everybody has to go at some point, some people more frequently than others, but did you know that you are still burning calories while making a call of nature? Some people choose to take a good book or magazine to occupy them while they are on the toilet and you’ll burn around 4.2 kilojoule for each minute you spend on your porcelain throne. So that’s a loss that’s not to be sniffed at.

Kilojoule burning tip 9: Pucker up

Kilojoule burning doesn’t all have to be hard work. Half an hour of kissing could help you burn in excess of 126 kilojoules. And if this gets you in the mood you could boost your kilojoule burn with some physical activity in the bedroom. A 30 minute sex session could account for around 630 kilojoules – the more physical, the better.

And when all is done …

Kilojoule burning tip 10: Sleep

You’re going to be pretty whacked after all that calorie burning activity, but even when you are getting some shut eye you are still burning kilojoules. Yes, an average night’s sleep of around eight hours of sleep can account for over 1680 kilojoules. That’s more than enough reason to help you rest a little easier at night.

(Note: Kilojoules counts are based on an average female of around 65kg. A heavier person will burn more kilojoules.)


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