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12 Days of Fitness 2014: Day 7 – How Many Holiday Calories Are You Burning?

December 16, 2014 1 Comment

(This is Part 7 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful health and fitness tips over the holiday season)

Fire-Up-Your-MetabolismI’ve never been able to find evidence that substantiates this, but in my opinion I truly believe that the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s represent the lowest attrition to exercise of the year. There’s a lot going on with shopping, parties, family gatherings, travel, etc. that even the most consistent of exercisers get a bit side tracked. But for those who make a habit of finding every excuse as to why they didn’t exercise all year, the holiday season is essentially a free pass in their minds. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to burn calories over the holidays without so much as putting forth much extra effort because there are so many activities over the holidays that are above and beyond anything we would normally do throughout the year. However, add to that the surplus of calories most will bring in over the holidays and most likely you’ll end up with a net gain as opposed to a net loss. Here’s a breakdown of some holiday activities and their subsequent calorie expenditure as well as a few select exercise activities to compare to and see if you’re really making up the difference to justify not taking time out of your schedule to exercise. (Note: the following statistics are based on a 150 lb male)

Holiday Activity

 Watching TV – 46 Cal/Hour

Standing In Line – 94 Cal/Hour

Wrapping Gifts – 96 Cal/Hour

Baking – 159 Cal/Hour

Shopping – 162 Cal/Hour

Decorating Christmas Tree – 170 Cal/Hour

Child Care – 180 Cal/Hour

Cooking – 180 Cal/Hour

Light Housework – 198 Cal/Hour

Unloading/Loading Car – 216 Cal/Hour

Hanging Lights – 250 Cal/Hour

Shoveling Snow – 374 Cal/Hour

Fitness Activity

Weight Lifting – 234 Cal/Hour

Walking – 297 Cal/Hour

Pilates – 351 Cal/Hour

Jogging – 477 Cal/Hour

Spinning – 477 Cal/Hour

Rowing – 477 Cal/Hour

Elliptical – 774 Cal/Hour

Running – 783 Cal/Hour

See you tomorrow for Day 8 of the 12 Days of Fitness

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.


About the Author:

Jeff Harrison is a fitness coach based in Pottstown, PA. He received a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State University and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) and ACE Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS). Jeff's articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals as well as consumer oriented websites and magazines.

Comments (1)

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  1. Eva M. says:

    I think more people need to realize that they burn more calories just standing than sitting all day. Honestly I’m glad that my part time job is not full time. On the days that I’m at work, I sit more than I do on the days that I’m “off”! I’d have to get one of those “standing work stations” if I could get the boss to authorize it!

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