What do we usually count as exercise? Jogging? Weight lifting? Squatting? How about playing with the kids or walking the dog? Can we consider these as exercises? Strange enough, exercises need not be the activities that can be done only in a gym or in any kind of playing field.
Hanging your clothes count as exercise, even gardening count as a great way of losing those unwanted calories! These activities are called "incidental exercises", a term usually used to denote all the physical activities that we do in the course of the day.
There are several reasons why incidental exercises are promoted as means to lose weight? The first - all human activities burn calories. The only question is... do we move enough in our daily routines so as to significantly affect the way our body burns calories?
It is estimated that in order for us to maintain a healthy body, we need to burn at least 1500 calories all in all in our routine per week. A task not impossible considering that even cleaning the house burns at least 270 calories per hour. This means spending the time to make your abode speak and span at least 5 times a week (an hour a day) already burns 1350 calories.
The more of these "non-significant" activities we make, the more calories we burn. And like what they say... every calorie counts. So next time you get tempted to ask somebody else to take out the trash for you (when it was your turn to take out the trash anyway!), think twice because you are LOSING an opportunity to burn some unwanted fat for a better you.
Secondly, it is not just what you do but how you do it. Because every activity has varying degrees of burning fat, - the more muscles involved in a physical activity, the faster your body burns those naughty calories! - increasing the physical activity involved in the incidental exercise can make a lot of difference in the amount of calories you burn!
For example, instead of carrying out the basket full of machine-washed clothes with you whenever you are hanging them in the clothes line, you can put the basket in one place (preferably on a far away side of the room) and walk from the basket to the clothesline every time you need to get another garment to hang.
This definitely works out your legs, your hamstrings, and your quadriceps more than conveniently carrying the basket. Or instead of parking in a nearby slot from your office, try to park in the further end of the parking lot, so you would need to do more exercise walking to and from the office.
Thirdly and connected to both previous points, as your body gets used to doing these sets of "normal" activities, it adjusts your metabolic rate to keep up with the energy demands.
Studies have shown that people who does physical work in a regular basis have higher catabolic rate than a person who does minimal physical work - even while both are resting. Hence, playing with the kids more often or walking the dog longer distances would raise the calories you burn even whilst you're at sleep. The higher your catabolic rate, the easier for you to lose weight!