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Alternative Activities That Burn Calories

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More Calorie-Burning Activities

Golf (using a power cart) vs. Fishing (in a stream)

I know something that even sounds like it might be a critique of the beloved game of golf is risky, but I'll take my chances. I was chatting with an old friend who had taken up golf to try to get into shape. He figured he could walk, enjoy the weather, socialize, and lose weight. Boy, was he wrong.

After a few years of golfing, he ended up gaining weight. Why? Well, for a few reasons. First of all, the course he plays doesn't allow walking because it slows down the game. Second, all that clubhouse socializing, which included lots of drinking and eating, packed on more pounds instead of removing them. Plus, he had stopped his other forms of exercise when he took up golf. He would have been better off fishing. Golfing with a cart burns 245 calories an hour (about 1/2 cup Baskin-Robbins Cherries Jubilee Ice Cream), whereas fly-fishing in a stream (including walking in the water wearing waders) burns as much as 420 calories (one slice of Papa John's Pan Crust The Meats). However, if you ditch the cart (and the clubhouse snacks) you'd be looking at a wonderful exercise burning 315 calories per hour (a Wendy's Jr. Cheeseburger). Also, keep in mind that miniature golf and hitting balls at a driving range burn about 210 calories in an hour (one Kellogg's Pop-Tart Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon).

Sexual Activity (vigorous) vs. Vacuuming vs. Mopping

Sexual activity burns calories, but not nearly as many as you might believe. You're looking at 105 calories (about 1 tablespoon of butter) per hour, and with the average encounter lasting only 12 minutes, including foreplay, there's not much of a burn there. In terms of calories, you might be better off vacuuming or mopping the house, which can burn as many as 245 calories (about 61 Reese's Pieces candies) but probably won't be as much fun.

Badminton vs. Archery (non-hunting) vs. Pool

With a net, a birdie (that's the thing you hit), and a racquet, you can play badminton right in your backyard, burning 315 calories (one serving of steamed shrimp dumplings) per hour. You can get a complete set for about $49.95 (Carlton Badminton Recreational Set at Archery burns a bit less at 245 calories (about one McDonald's Hamburger) and costs a bit more to get started. Playing pool is as simple as going to your neighborhood bar or pool hall, and will burn as much as 175 calories (about two Pizza Hut Cinnamon Sticks) per hour.

Frisbee vs. Darts vs. Bowling

Believe it or not, bowling burns as many calories as Frisbee -- about 210 calories (two light beers) per hour. But if you really want to get a workout, try playing Ultimate Frisbee (sort of like soccer, football, and rugby with a flying disc), which burns 560 calories per hour (3 1/3 ounces of Planters Mixed Nuts). And good old-fashioned darts burns about 175 calories per hour (about 14 Almond Joy Bites).

Horseshoes vs. Shuffleboard

Both of these common activities for retirees, cruise ship voyagers, and kids in camp burn 210 calories (three Aunt Jemima pancakes) per hour.

Also try adding one of these rockin' playlists to spice up your workout session!


Charles Stuart Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate, author of The Diet Detective's Calorie Bargain Bible (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and founder of, the health and fitness network. Copyright 2007 by Charles Stuart Platkin.

Reprinted with permission from, July 2007.



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marylupino wrote:

humorous and helpful

11/18/2013 07:06:29 PM Report Abuse
d37952 wrote:

bunch of bullshit. How many people scuba dive verses curling?

9/2/2013 06:20:42 PM Report Abuse
rexxdog73 wrote:

Think of people who have no where to walk! what is rating for treadmill & spinbike?

8/23/2013 11:58:54 AM Report Abuse
rstrongfin31099 wrote:

GREAT information!

8/3/2013 02:41:21 AM Report Abuse
gracefor7me wrote:

I have a protruding disk in my back. Two bad knees and both ankles have been broken and all my toes broken. HELP

7/16/2013 10:31:48 AM Report Abuse

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