Need to burn a few calories? If you’ve been eating more and exercising less these days, becoming more active can be key to avoiding stay-at-home weight gain. You don’t need to do traditional “exercise” (running, aerobics or the like) to burn calories; routine household chores work, too.

For instance, an hour of vacuuming will give you a cleaner house and burns 155 calories (for a 170-pound adult). If you have a yard, gardening burns 386 calories an hour. This is according to an online calculator created by the Calorie Control Council, a food and beverage industry group, which looks at nearly 100 activities, with each determination based on someone’s weight and the amount of time spent on the activity.

For someone weighing 170 pounds, for example, spending 60 minutes on such chores as dusting, doing the laundry, ironing or vacuuming burns 155 calories, whereas grocery shopping burns 232 calories, mowing the lawn (by pushing, not riding, the mower) burns 309 calories. By comparison, more strenuous activity such as climbing stairs for an hour burns 464 calories while jumping rope clocks in at 618 an hour and running at 773 calories for a 10-minute-mile pace.

Following the temporary closures of gyms, people across the world have gotten creative with their workout routines amid the coronavirus outbreak. (The Washington Post)

No matter the activity, burning more calories than you eat should result in weight loss (just as eating more calories than you burn may add pounds). Weight-loss experts generally say that to lose a pound, you need to burn 3,500 more calories a week (500 more per day) than you consume. To see the caloric value of other activities go to (click on “menu,” then “healthy weight tool kit,” then “Get Moving Calculator”).

— Linda Searing