Fly fishing

Eliminate ‘bingo wings’ by repeatedly casting a salmon rod (practise on the lawn or, if you own one, in the ballroom). The longed-for tug on the line at the end of a soporific afternoon soon gets the heart rate back up, especi-ally if you lose the fish. Wear waders all the time, even when fishing from the bank, to create a per-manent personal sauna.

Catching a fish

Time 10 minutes
Calories used 52
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Wading

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1,091
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Fishing from a boat

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 871
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit 0

Gardening

Sit-on mowers are verboten for obvious reasons. Sweeping, digging and raking are a useful form of torture/cross-training; pruning a branch that’s just out of reach is cheaper than a Pilates class.

Weeding

Time 60 minutes
Calories used 202
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Mowing the lawn

with a push mower
Time 60 minutes
Calories used 312
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Mowing the lawn  

on a seated mower
Time 60 minutes
Calories used 185
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit 0

Pouring Champagne

For extra effort, hold the magnum-bottles are for beginners-in your left hand (if you’re right handed), and wait a whole two minutes before imbibing.

Magnum

Time 1 minute
Calories used 2
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Single bottle

Time 1 minute
Calories used 2
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Drinking

Time 1 minute
Calories used 2
(Calories consumed 91.2)
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit 0

Chopping logs

This is why lumberjacks are all right-it’s brilliant for toning the upper body. Double points for tugging the axe out of the ground when you’ve missed.

Time 45 minutes
Calories used 420
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Relaxing

It’s reassuring to learn that we do burn (a few) calories when dozing, although few country houses have the heating system to allow one to work up a sweat when doing so. For extra benefit, switch television channels in the old-fashioned way.

Reading the paper by the fire

Time 60 minutes
Calories used 86
Aerobic benefit 0
Strength benefit 0

Snoozing

Time 60 minutes
Calories used 65
Aerobic benefit 0
Strength benefit 0

Days out

The combination of tiny steps amid large crowds and large strides when on a mission for a rare slot at the bar/bargain rose-bush/a spot in the centre of the Cheltenham track before they close the barriers is reasonably akin to interval training in its cumulative effect. Shopping has obvious weight-training benefits, gambling raises the heart rate, and you won’t be able to afford to eat.

Ascot

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1684
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Chelsea Flower Show

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1,353
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Point-to-point

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1,766
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Cheltenham

Time 300minutes
Calories used 1,973
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit * 

Walking the dog

Ironically, the worse behaved the dog, the better it is for the owner’s health. So the contemplative potter with an arthritic labrador doesn’t really cut it, but an irrepressible springer will get you power-walking in the  idiotic manner of a Hyde Park trendy without your even                       thinking about it. Deaf lurchers after rabbits and cat-hating terriers also raise the heart rate.

Trained dog

Time 30 minutes
Calories used115
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Untrained dog

Time 45 minutes
Calories used 284
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Dancing

Jigging on the spot is no good. If you’re not hurling yourself and your partner around, you’re not doing it properly.

Highland

Time 120 minutes
Calories used 1,037
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit *

Rock ‘n’ roll
Time 120 minutes
Calories used 1,004
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit *

Glastonbury

Time 240 minutes
Calories used 1,248
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Housework

In the 1960s, the housewife kept in shape by hoovering and lifting the Le Creuset. Nothing much has changed. Yoga’s ‘downward dog’ movement is only dusting the skirting in another guise.

Housework

Time 60 minutes
Calories used 229
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit 0

Cooking

Time 60 minutes
Calories used 174
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit *

Shooting

The problem here is that lunch tends to thwart real progress. You need to be on a grouse moor to gain any genuine benefit: the higher the heather, the deeper the bogs and the shorter the legs, the better like wearing heavy tweed to a step class.

Beating

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1,436
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Pheasants

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1,353
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit **

Grouse

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1,849
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit ***

Stalking

Time 300 minutes
Calories used 2,097
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤ ❤
Strength benefit ***

Snow

Shovelling

Time 30 minutes
Calories used 201
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤ ❤
Strength benefit ***

Tobogganing

Time 45 minutes
Calories used 339
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤ ❤
Strength benefit ***

Horse owning

They say the hairiest hunting is north of the Thames, but, in fairness, Dorset hedges, Somerset rhines and Exmoor combes are perfectly adequate for firming the abdomen and scaring yousilly. For a real endurance test, go on hound exercise-the traditional ‘ ‘hound jog’, half trot, half walk, for miles and miles and miles is excruciating. Of course, the real purists go beagling.

Suffolk hunting
Time 300 minutes
Calories used 1,973
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit **

Leicestershire hunting
Time 300 minutes
Calories used 2,386
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Mucking out
Time 10 minutes
Calories used 86
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Cross-country
Time 8 minutes
Calories used 97
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Showjumping
Time 2 minutes
Calories used 21
Aerobic benefit ❤ ❤
Strength benefit **

Dressage test
Time 6 minutes
Calories used 48
Aerobic benefit ❤
Strength benefit **