Everyone knows that if you set yourself a tedious exercise programme you’ll only fall at the first fat-burning hurdle. And setting yourself a full-on schedule of daily walks, runs or gym workouts is going to be so hard to stick to. Instead I’ve come up with 20 great fun ways to lose 100 calories.
Hop to it: Chalk out a hopscotching ladder on the patio and get the kids to join you in a good old-fashioned game of hopscotch. Every minute you’ll burn almost six calories so in 17 minutes you’ll have reached 100 calories.
Throw a Frisbee: Take the kids (and the dog) to the park and enjoy an enthusiastic game of Frisbee. Thirty minutes will burn 100 calories.
Dancing: Have a laugh with your partner and learn to ballroom dance. Half of an hour-long dance session will burn 100 calories. Or borrow the children’s dance met – 15 minutes burns 100 calories. Alternatively, check out fitness video websites such as ThinQFitness for a range of dance videos, including salsa, cheerleading, dance aerobics and modern fusion.
Horse riding: Book a half-hour session at your local stables and learn to horse ride. It’ll only take 30 minutes to burn 100 calories – and tone bum and thighs.
Snorkelling: Learn to snorkel at a swimming pool or take advantage of a pool or the sea while on holiday. 15 minutes of swimming around with your head in the water and wearing flippers will burn the big 100. If it’s the crawl you’ll burn more, while the breast stroke burns less. Butterfly is a calorie mountain burner.
Barbecuing: Yes, cooking can burn calories! 22 minutes of feverish cooking and running to and from the kitchen/garden will burn 100 calories. Just remember not to eat all the results of your BBQ party.
Hit a punch bag: A great stress reliever as well as a good cardiovascular and resistance workout. Just 10 minutes should be enough to burn 100 calories.
Sex: We’re talking weekend sex here, rather than a Monday night quickie. The average love-making session burns 100 calories. But that depends on how long you’re at it …
Snogging: Even kissing burns calories. But you’ll need to keep it up for 50 minutes to burn the glorious 100. Either break this up into 10 five-minute sessions – or leave it to the teenagers.
Child’s play: Remember when you were a kid and you were outside playing all the time? You could eat what you want and not put on weight. Here’s why. Each of these fun games burns 100 calories: one hour of hula hooping; 40 minutes on a pogo stick; 50 minutes on a space hopper; 20 minutes roller skating; 26 minutes of active trampolining. If you did each of these for 10 minutes at a time you’d soon be whizzing through the calories.
Swing ball: 20 minutes of pitching your strength and ball skills in a few games of swing ball and you’ll have reached the golden 100 calories.
Walk and talk: Try walking while chatting with a friend, instead of meeting in a café for a coffee and a gab; or find a scenic place for a good stroll. Even moderate walking for 18 minutes will burn on average 100 calories. Add in a hill and you can walk for even less
Plant flowers: Planting flowers into pots and beds has beautiful results. With all the weeding that will inevitably go with this, plus the digging and heaving of compost bag you’ll burn 100 calories in half an hour.
Kayaking: You’re spoilt for choice of where to go kayaking. Try river kayaking, or canoeing on a loch or reservoir. Within 25 minutes of paddle work you’ll burn 100 calories.
Skiing: Scotland has numerous dry ski slopes and there’s now the indoor real snow slope at Xscape, Braehead in Glasgow. This is excellent exercise and burns 10 calories per 13 minutes. Just hop on a plane if you live in England and head to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness or Aberdeen.
Standing not sitting: Even if you do nothing more than stand instead of sitting, for example to watch your children playing football, or at the playpark, you’ll burn 100 calories in just more than an hour.
DIY: This is not for everyone, but if you enjoy the end results of a freshly decorated room you’ll be pleased to know that 22 minutes of painting and wallpapering burns 100 calories. It will also give your shoulder muscles a good toning.
Mountain biking: Head off to a mountain biking centre or simply find an off-road trail and jump on your mountain bike. Around 10 minutes of mountain biking will see off 100 calories on average.
Roller skating: It depends on how fast you go and whether you choose a hilly route or a flat route, but roller skating or in-line blading is an effective calorie burner and should see off some 100 cals in around 15 minutes.