7 Things You Probably Do Every Weekend That You Never Knew Counted As Exercise

Sometimes it can be difficult to fit in a workout during the weekend, considering how much other stuff you want to do -- like go to that Halloween-themed double feature -- and how much you kind of have to do -- like your laundry and putting together an IKEA shelf. The weekend simply doesn't always leave a lot of time for that spinning class or a long hike. But fret not, because you might be doing more exercise than you're giving yourself credit for, since everything from typical chores to late night dancing counts as a workout.

First of all, remember that exercise just means your body is moving. This can mean all sorts of different things. The Department of Health and Human Services gives some suggestive guidelines for a baseline of weekly exercise. Think about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (like long walks or pilates), or 75 minutes of more intensive aerobic activity (like going for a run or playing tennis.) Others recommend a more steady stream of 30 minutes of exercise a day.

I say, consider whatever works best for you, and try to make a habit out of it. And remember, with your undoubtedly full and busy life, you might be getting more daily movement in there than you think.

1. Running Errands

Ah, the day filled with non-stop errands. You look at your to-do list and see, first, you have to go to the hardware store, then the laundromat, then the pharmacy, and oh yeah, you need to return those books to the library, and maybe it's a good day to bring that old winter coat to the tailor now that summer's over.

In and out, up and down, and before you know it, you've moved consistently throughout the whole day, just by spending your time doing errands. The benefits of walking are the least of it, amirite? Because you also just managed to make one of the few days off you have productive AF.

So put your feet up and relax when you get back from that long haul at the grocery store. You deserve it.

2. Helping Your Friend Move

Maybe it's the last thing you want to do on your day off, but think about it. Moving somebody's dresser up the stairs is not only a way to strengthen those muscles, it also gets the heart rate up.

And, let's be honest, you often get a free meal out of it. And karma, of course. Always remember the power of karma.

3. Going To A Museum

I call this one “museum feet.”

I know for me, by the end of a day at The Native American Museum, or after taking a walk around Storm King, I'm usually exhausted. Walking around all day and staying on your feet is sure to keep your blood pumping consistently, while enriching your mind and, hopefully, really enjoying yourself at the same time.

4. Gardening

Digging up roots, pruning, planting, getting those knees dirty -- that stuff is no joke.

If you've ever spent the day gardening, you know it's a really great way to keep your body moving constantly throughout the day. Not to mention, gardening is really great for you in other ways as well. Purported benefits range from stress relief to improved mental health.

5. That Not-So-Lazy Beach Day

Sure, you think beach, you think laying in the sun (fully covered with SPF, of course), and picnic lunch.

But running over to the water and splashing around like a jubilant merperson is sure to get the ol' blood pumping and increase your heart rate. Not to mention, studies show merely walking on sand uses a lot more energy than when walking on a flat surface.

6. Your Best Friend's Dance Party 

The most fun cardio experience of all time, I'd say. When you're at a club or a house party really feeling yourself and the music, what you're actually doing is engaging in a joyful aerobic exercise, at least technically speaking.

So stay out that extra hour, and put your hands in the air like you just don't care.

7. Spring Cleaning

Moving furniture, reaching the books on the top shelf, mopping the floor, vacuuming, taking out the trash, getting all that month-old yogurt out from the back of the fridge.

Just think about how many hours you've spent in motion doing all of that. Not to mention, your place now looks like a palace. Pretty great, right?