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Friday, April 18, 2014

How to... burn off those Easter egg calories

The average Easter egg contains around 530 calories, but add the irresistible chocolate treats found in the middle and you're looking at a diet-busting 1,000 calories per packaged egg. 

1 The fastest way to get rid of that chocolate egg is to run at a constant speed of 7mph (an 8.5-minute mile) for an hour. Of course, you'll need to have a pretty good level of fitness already in order to achieve this. 
Dropping your speed to 5mph (or a 12-minute mile) means you'll need to run for about an hour and 20 minutes. Either way, that's a lot of running.  

2 If you don't like running, kick-boxing comes a close second, burning around 900 calories an hour depending on how much you push yourself during the session. To hit that 1,000-calorie mark, book in for a one-on-one session with a trainer and combine upper and lower body punches and kicks with intermittent skipping sets and keep training at as high an intensity as you can bear. 
Or why not try squash, which is almost as taxing as kick-boxing (you burn more than 800 calories an hour on court). Tennis, however, is less effective, especially doubles. A singles match will burn about 400 to 500 calories per hour, so you'd need to stay on court for two hours, or three hours for doubles.  

3 Surprisingly, swimming is one of the best calorie-burners  -  but, again, only if you really push yourself. Calorie expenditure depends on which stroke you choose and how hard you work: an hour of furious front crawl will obviously have far more of an effect than a lazy backstroke. 
Sixty minutes of continuous butterfly gets you to around the 1,000- calorie mark; continuous breast-stroke at a reasonably fast pace burns 750 calories an hour; front crawl comes in at 700; backstroke at around 600, and a leisurely swim drifts in at 400  -  meaning you would have to spend two hours in the pool to shift that egg.  

4 A leisurely cycle around town will burn only about 350 calories an hour, but work on your speed and you could hit around the 600-calorie mark. 
Think Tour de France  -  set a punishing pace, add some hill climbs and flat sprints  -  and you'll say goodbye to a whopping 950 calories an hour. If you're too weak-willed to set your own pace, try a spinning class. You could burn about 800 calories an hour. 

Although a stroll doesn't sound like a great way to expend energy, there are ways to make walking more effective, helping you burn calories in less time. Walking at 3mph (20-min mile) burns only 300 calories an hour but hiking uphill at the same pace burns around 425 calories an hour. 
Nordic pole walking, where you walk using poles that help propel yourself forward and use the upper body muscles at the same time, burns 30 to 40 per cent more calories than walking without them. 

6 A high-impact aerobics class will wipe out around 600, but a more gentle, low-impact aerobics class uses only around 400 calories.  
Adding a step is a great way to increase calorie expenditure: using a 6in to 8in step for an hour burns around 750 calories, while using a 10in to 12in step takes it right up to 900. 
BodyPump is a good class for calorie burning too  -  it combines weights, movement, and step in one high-energy workout.

7 Housework and general cleaning chores are a good replacement for the gym. You might be surprised by how many calories you burn doing housework. 
Cleaning, vigorous vacuuming, scrubbing, moving furniture and lifting boxes can add up to around 450 calories an hour if done continuously and at speed  -  so dig out those rubber gloves and spring-clean away that egg. 

8 If you have a garden, get out in it. Doing the odd bit of weeding and potting won't get you far  -  but hoeing, digging, raking leaves and moving pots and bags of compost for 60 minutes will help you burn around a third of your Easter indulgence at about 350 calories an hour. 

9 Getting active with your children is a great way to burn off calories and it's fun too  -  so get outside and use your imagination, especially if you are on holiday. 
Create a treasure hunt, roll eggs down hills, play hopscotch, introduce your children to French elastics, start a game of hide and seek, tag or red rover  -  anything that gets you all moving and using energy. The more active you are, the more calories you will burn. That old playground favourite skipping burns 700 calories per hour, too, so crack out a rope. 
he more active you are, the more calories you will burn. That old playground favourite skipping burns 700 calories per hour, too, so crack out a rope. 

10 If you just can't motivate yourself to get down to the gym, dive into the pool, tackle housework or children's games, try having an early night with your partner: kissing burns anywhere between 50 and 100 calories an hour, depending how passionate you are, while moderate to vigourous sexual activity can burn up to 400 calories an hour. 

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