How Many Calories Do New Yorkers Burn Schlepping Around the City?

Hint: It's a lot more than you'd expect

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Have you ever noticed how fit most New Yorkers are? It’s not just the hot yoga--it’s because we’re trained in the fine art of schlepping.

We’re always on the go, and luckily, getting from point A (the dry cleaner) to point B (the gym) to point C (work) to point D (happy hour at Cienfuegos) to point E (dinner at L’Amico) is a great way to burn calories. 

How many calories? We asked Ariane Hundt, founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp, to break it down for us. Check out how many calories a 150-pound woman can expect to burn doing some New York-style schlepping.

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Hauling Clothes To The Laundromat: 150 Calories

We know that door-to-door delivery service is tempting, but seriously consider bringing your own laundry to the ’mat. Lifting a heavy bag for ten minutes can burn 150 calories, and even a short, five-minute burst will increase your heart rate and fire up your metabolism.

Tackling Your Five-floor Walk-up: 10 Calories

Why did you rent the charming prewar apartment instead of that swanky place with the elevator? Because you burn 10 calories and tone your hamstrings, calves, quads and butt each time you walk those five flights. Keep yourself challenged by running or going up two at a time.

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Lugging Whole Foods Groceries: 150 Calories

Carrying two paper bags of groceries for eight blocks takes up only 12 minutes of your day, but you’ll burn about 150 calories and tone your biceps, shoulders and core--just make sure the weight in both bags is evenly distributed. (This means you, Naomi.)

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Giving Up On The Cab And Walking: 100 Calories

Oh, rush hour. We don’t know why we even bother. Walk those 20 blocks home instead--you’ll burn roughly 100 calories, especially when you’re in a hurry and your adrenaline is pumping.

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Chasing The Bus: 10 Calories

Running down the block after the bus for one minute burns 10 calories--it’s not much, but every little bit adds up. Hmm, being late to work actually has its perks.

Racing Down The Subway Stairs: 10 Calories

OK, we know the subway announcer guy is always telling us never to run for trains, but (carefully) running down the stairs to catch the N train before the doors close will burn about 10 calories and give your quads a mini workout.

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Being A Human Pack Mule: 200 Calories

It happens more often than we’d like--we’re stuck carrying our gym bag, sample sale loot, work bag and dry cleaning all at the same time. But schlep this stuff around for an hour and you’ll burn 200 extra calories. Bam.

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Taking Off On A Citi Bike: 50 Calories

Need to get from Avenue A to Chelsea Piers in a hurry? Grab a Citi Bike and start pedaling. Biking for ten minutes burns 50 calories and works your hamstrings, quads and butt.

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Standing On The Train To Brooklyn: 200 Calories

The next time you’re suffering in a hot, packed train next to a smelly guy who doesn’t understand what personal space is, look on the bright side: You’ll burn up to 200 calories if you ditch the pole and spend an hour subway surfing.

Skipping The Cleaning Service: 500 Calories

There’s nothing more satisfying than scrubbing your own toilet, right? OK, fine, it totally sucks. But cleaning your apartment for an hour burns about 500 calories! We love scrubbing the toilet. Scrubbing the toilet is awesome.

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.