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No Time for the Gym? Burn Calories Cleaning Your House

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housecleaning-burns-calories Igor Mojzes/fotolia

Unless you live under a rock, you are reminded daily that exercise is important for your mind and body. But, you don’t have to join a gym to get physical activity. Just clean your house!

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity and strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Think about all the work that comes with cleaning your house. It can be grueling, especially if you have kids and pets.

Now try reframing your thoughts. By doing some kind of housework once a day, you will a weekly workout plus burn those unwanted calories. Sound better?

Health and Fitness apps such as Lose it!, Calorie Count, and My Fitness Pal counts an hour of normal, light cleaning such as dusting, changing the sheets, taking out the trash as 160-170 calories burned,depending on your weight.

Weight Watchers give you 3 whopping points for 1 hour of exercise. If you’ve ever been on the Weight Watchers diet, you know that 3 points can really help your total count at the end of the day.

Wondering how cleaning your house can help you become lean and fit?

Here’s some ideas based on a woman weighing 150 pounds.

Clean the floors. According to Self Magazine, you will burn 250 calories during 60 minutes of vacuuming your carpets. No carpeting in your house? The same applies to mopping and sweeping.

Wash windows. Don’t do windows? You may want to start. Washing windows for an hour can burn 204 calories. And once you start, you’ll probably notice the drapes need washing or the blinds need dusting. More calories burned.

Prepare a nice dinner. By the time you get home from work, the last thing you feel like doing is slaving over a hot stove. But, you might change your mind.

You can burn 136 calories for an hour of dinner preparation (no nibbling allowed). Still too tired? Do it in the morning before work or as a weekend activity.

Hoe that garden. Burn around 200 calories working for an hour in your vegetable or flower garden. Not only will you get a great workout, but give your body some extra Vitamin D on those sunny days (sunscreen recommended, of course).

Hate winter weather? Think again. Shoveling snow counts for 400 per hour!

But, don’t overdue it unless you’re physically fit. It can be too hard on your heart, so be reasonable. Thirty minutes is still a great workout.

If you’re always looking for extra time in your schedule for the gym and cleaning your house, think about combining these activities to save time and money -- and have a sparkling, clean house and a beautiful body to show for it.

See more calorie-burning tips at the sources below:

Weight Watchers – The Housework Workout. Web. 26, March, 2012

Self – Health Calculators – Burn Calories – Clean House: how many calories did you burn? Web. 26, March, 2012

Calorie Count – Activity Browser – Home Activites. Web. 26, March 2012

Mayo Clinic - Healthy Lifestyle - Fitness -Expert Answers -Exercise: How much do need every day? Web. 26, March, 2012

Reviewed March 26, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment3 Comments

Thank You very much, a good article :)

March 29, 2012 - 11:39pm

But, just think - you burned calories. :)

March 27, 2012 - 8:08am
EmpowHER Guest

No wonder my legs are killing me, spent the weekend gardening, feels like I went on a marathon.

March 27, 2012 - 5:44am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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