WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI
House cleaning is a drag. That comes as a surprise to no one. But, there is a great side benefit to having a tidy home. Well, there are many, but we’re not talking about the psychological advantages of living in a clean home or even the fact that a clean house just plain looks good. We’re talking about working up a sweat. Go ahead and skip the gym. Grab the broom or the vacuum cleaner instead. Turns out the simple acts of sweeping, vacuuming, and so many more housecleaning tasks can give you a great workout.
“You probably know that the U.S. Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week to maintain good health,” said Weight Watchers. “But did you know that any kind of physical activity counts, including housework? Believe it or not, dusting, sweeping, mopping, making beds and carrying laundry all add up to a lot of ‘incidental activity – the type some health experts view as potentially more beneficial than ‘official’ workouts, such as calisthenics.”
So how many calories are we talking here? “According to Health Status, a 150-lb. individual would burn 99 calories doing 30 minutes of housework,” said LIVESTRONG. But the calorie burn varies depending on the activity – and your body weight; consider that the more you weigh, the more calories you burn.
Dusting can burn 80 calories in 30 minutes, and give you a good arm and shoulder workout. Want to burn even more? Add weights to wrists and/or ankles for this and any other task. “The American Council on Exercise promotes the use of weights to increase exercise benefit,” said Health magazine. “You can add this to your everyday life by using ankle or wrist weights. Just adding weights can burn 25-50% more calories during your everyday activities – no gym required!”
“Some activities are more vigorous than others. A 150-lb. person washing dishes for 30 minutes would burn approximately 77 calories, according to Health Status,” said LIVESTRONG.
Cleaning your windows
Improve your view and get a good arm workout at the same time. Washing your windows for a half hour can burn 100 calories.
Few of us enjoy the task of doing laundry, but, while you’re putting clothes in the washer, moving them to the dryer, sorting, folding, and hanging, think about this: an hour’s worth of these tasks can burn 68 calories. It’s not as much as hitting the bike at cycling class, but at least now you have something clean to wear when you do go! And, you earned yourself a snack.
“A 30-minute dance with the broom will burn off 136 calories,” said SHAPE.
Between all the walking, turning, twisting, and bending, vacuuming can burn 170 calories in an hour.
Have a lot of hard surface floors in your home instead of carpet? Grab that mop. An hour’s worth of mopping can burn 170 calories, too.
“Extra dirty” floors may be a good thing in this case. “If your floors require a little extra elbow grease, you can shed as many as 187 calories in just 30 minutes,” said Shape.
Rearranging your closet
Whether it’s time to swap out summer duds for winter sweaters or you just need to clean out a closet that’s overstuffed, this task can burn about 85 calories.
Mowing the lawn
How about taking your tidying tasks outdoor? If your lawn is in need of some manicuring, you’ll love the fact that this type of home improvement activity can burn a whopping 300 calories in an hour. If it only takes you 20 minutes, you “can burn more calories than a power walk,” said Health. “But there’s a catch: you have to mow with a push mower. You may feel like you’re living on the frontier, but a push mower will turn your backyard into a boot camp!”