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Does House Cleaning Count as Exercise?
Do you think that cleaning your home isn’t exercise – Well, you’re wrong!
Housework is a great deal of physical work that – YES – Burns calories!!
Burn calories while cleaning if you know how and combine it with exercise.
You can build your household chores into an exercise routine!
I will show you how! With a few hints from me, this routine will be beneficial and comparable to what you can do in a gym.
What is Important to remember
The intensity of your chores is what makes the training regimen great!
6 Factors that will Intensify Your Household Cleaning Routine
- Add Music
Don’t underestimate your favourite music – Put on some music that makes your body move! It gives you that positive vibe you need to enjoy a good exercise routine!
Music makes you move faster and boosts your productivity. Music also gives you that “feel good” serotonin boost, which makes you happier and more relaxed. Proving that you will enjoy your new exercise routine more!
Serotonin is called the “feel good” hormone because it releases endorphins which are directly related to happiness.
Guess what – According to research, exercise is a natural way to boost your Serotonin levels!!!
Add music to your household chores and you have the formula to burn calories while cleaning and be happy!!
- Strength Training
Carry the heavy items around while cleaning, instead of a bucket on wheels while you are mopping, carry that bucket full of water around the house and up and down the stairs. Ensure that you carry it with your left arm at times and then “Switch” to the right arm, this can be equal to lifting weight in the gym!
Is your laundry room in the basement?
Carry the Laundry basket down and back upstairs!
Add to your strength training – strap ankle and wrist weights to your body while doing household chores! You will soon find that the next day your body will be telling you that you had a good workout!!
All this while cleaning your house!!
- Range of Movement
If you are sweeping, mopping, vacuuming or cleaning the windows, make sure that you widen your range of movements, this is equal to a good stretching routine at the gym. Dash of Speed – the key to exercising and burning calories is the intensity of motion – so do your cleaning with speed and agility. Bend and stretch to wash the floors and windows. Cleaning windows takes a lot of energy – this exercises your arms and your back and can burn up to 200 calories per hour.
Is there anything better than to feel your muscles stretch while you know you are getting your chores done at the same time?
- Mop on your hands and knees
This is like a good ab workout – Lunge forward while you mop, this is similar to some exercise machines in the gym. Use the same forward lunging when you vacuum or sweep the floor. AND – don’t stand on one spot while vacuuming, move around with the vacuum cleaner, even lift the couch while doing this (some more strength training). Use the furniture around your house to pick up and vacuum underneath as additional exercise. Interesting fact – Vacuuming is a strenuous activity that tones your arm muscles and burns plenty of calories and can give you a good cardio workout while burning at least 165 calories per hour.
- Keep your abs tight while cleaning
This will take some getting used to in the beginning and it will have to be a conscious thought to tighten your abs while cleaning the house. EVENTUALLY – this will become natural, doing this regularly while cleaning will stop you from slouching.
ADDITIONAL BENEFIT – You will soon see your belly get smaller and tighter, almost like you have been doing crunches or lower belly leg lifts at the gym.
- Stretch while you clean
While you are reaching to the ceiling or the overhead light, STRETCH – almost as if you are overdoing the motion. Dusting cleans your house of dirt burns 160 calories per hour and you can sneak in some extra stretching while you dust in those hard to reach places.
STRETCH – use every opportunity while you are moving around the house to reach as far as possible, taking great care not to hurt yourself in the process. But you will feel your muscles and joints enjoying that push and pull effect.
Remember – after every good gym regimen, you stretch out the muscles you have worked, now you are stretching your muscles while you work and clean your home.
In an ideal world most of us would have time enough in our daily schedule to go to the gym, cycle or go for a jog. But real life that includes working at a job, raising children and keeping the house clean we can burn calories and get our heart rate up by adding an extra bit of speed and intensity to our house cleaning chores.
Yes, running on the treadmill gets your heart rate up and pilates and yoga strengthens our core muscles, but if you perfect your house cleaning routine, you might not even realize at first that some of our everyday activities might count as a workout.
Some daily activities make us break out in a sweat and the next day we can feel that we have used some muscles we never knew were there, when they have that slight, after exercise burn. This is however a good indicator that you have had a workout.
Keys to Remember – As you start out every new day, decide and plan to incorporate extra movement of your muscles in every activity that you do. If you don’t have time to go to the gym or do a daily strength training routine, use these six daily activities as your mini workout. Have you noticed that after cleaning the bathroom or scrubbing the floor, you are actually sweating, this means you have increased your heart rate and are burning calories? Cleaning the bathroom is often the least favourite household chore, but a good hour to thoroughly clean your bathroom burns a whopping 250 calories! Things like vacuuming, laundry, sweeping and mopping, making beds are strenuous activities and if you do these activities on a daily basis, they can become quite a calorie burner.
More Calorie Burning Tips
Mowing your lawn
Mow the lawn and spare the expense of hiring a gardener or gardening service. Be daring and use a manual lawnmower, imagine the results you can achieve while pushing the lawnmower and impressing the neighbours with a neat and tidy garden. A manual lawnmower burns around 325 calories per hour. Imagine the calves and thigh muscles you will achieve with this outdoor task. Equal to hours spent in the gym – no doubt.
During the holidays it always seems people gain those pesky additional pounds, no more for you! Shovel the snow off your sidewalk and lawn. Get your heart rate going and get a good all-round workout while on vacation! Does that sound good? Shovelling snow burns about 415 calories in an hour.
Painting a room or the entire house
Have you been watching those home-makeover shows on television?
Are you getting ideas about how to change your home and make it more appealing to your family or visitors?
Do your home makeover with your family! Repaint some walls by adding a splash of colour. If you can burn around 290 calories per hour and give your entire body a good workout, is that not great motivation to get off the couch and build up a sweat while improving the market value of your property?
Get gardening, plant your own seeds for flowers and homegrown vegetables. Looking after your garden is a great physical activity and burns at least 250 calories an hour. Watch as you see your own vegetables grow, cook with your fresh vegetables from your vegetable patch and enjoy watching the fruits of your labour pay-off, literally!
Washing the family dog
Would you believe that it burns over 200 calories if it takes you an hour to bath the family dog? Keeping your dog hair free and clean is a bonus for the dog, but don’t forget, this will keep you fit and trim too!
Cooking a meal for the family
Cooking seems like a relatively sedentary activity but if you watch those “Cooking Shows” look at the amount of sweat chefs generate while peeling potatoes, carrots, onions, browning the meat! Cooking like that definitely counts as a household chore that effectively burns at least 150 calories in an hour.
Baking some bread and cookies
Baking bread, cookies and cake for the family will definitely make you score highly on the “I love mom chart”, but imagine, while pleasing your family you can burn off around 263 calories per hour. Just don’t be tempted to eat the treats you bake as you might run into a negative calorific effect.
Making the bed and changing the sheets
Making just one bed daily lets you burn around 15 calories. This really adds up, if you make your own bed every day you can burn over 5,000 calories a year. Changing your sheets once a week adds to the calorie burning at approximately 40 calories each time you change the sheets. Let’s assume you change your bed sheets once per week, that equals a staggering 2000 calories per year. Imagine you are a family of five, imagine the calories you are burning now! This is getting to be a real workout now!
Cleaning oven and hob – 79 calories
This must be the most hated household cleaning chore of all time but change your perspective! Think of the calories you burn in doing this cleaning exercise. The 79 calories you burn cleaning the oven and hob is equivalent to 10 minutes on an exercise bike and you have a clean bright oven and stove hob for the work.
Unloading your car
Unloading your groceries from the car after a trip to the store is good for strength and fitness, but keep in mind not to lift heavy parcels. Rather divide the parcel into smaller lighter ones and make a couple more trips to the car and back upping your heart rate and – yes – burning more calories per trip! Just by unloading your car you can burn over 300 calories every week.
Decluttering your home and garage
Do you seem to always be moving things around in your house or garage to make space or find an item? Decluttering can get you fit in the nick of time! As you go up and down the stairs, into the basement and into the garage to move things around and re-arrange stored items, you can burn at least 240 calories each day!
Combine these calorie burning activities
Combine several tasks of household chores into your daily routine and you are all set with a stretching, strength training, cardio and calorie-burning exercising circuit in your own home!
Few people look forward to doing their house cleaning chores but doing them regularly and building up to a good routine can help you get in shape and stay in shape.
Keeping your house clean keeps you fit as you burn off calories with each chore you complete. Your house will look in ship shape and your figure will look neat and trim.
If going to the gym is not your cup of tea, stay home and do the things you love, listen to the music you like, be around your family and get busy folding the laundry and baking some goodies.
You will see the results of your hard work in your home immediately and before long, you will start to see results when you step on the scale as well.
Gauging the intensity of your workout
New fitness tracking technology is available, one of the most popular training methods is a CrossFit watch, it is tough for wearing anywhere and used to track and provide useful data. That’s because it combines all kinds of different movements and exercises, from both cardiovascular training to resistance training. Wearing this will measure distances covered, heart rate, blood pressure and more.
Wear one while you complete your daily household cleaning routine and get the real facts of how many calories you burned during your hours of cleaning. You might get the best surprise! And be able to prove in specific data how many steps you took while doing the laundry, mopping and vacuuming the floors, making the beds and cooking dinner for your family!
You will be able to determine what routine and what speed of household cleaning gives you the proper intensity for your exercise and fitness goals. If it does not feel like you are exerting yourself, pick up the pace. Or alternatively if your heart is beating rapidly, slow it down a little. Don’t push yourself to hard or overexert yourself if you are embarking on this new fitness routine of housecleaning as an exercise program.
And – check your watch, it will show you your heart rate and blood pressure and whether you are attaining your set goals.
If you think cleaning your home doesn’t count as exercise then you are very wrong. Housecleaning might not give you the level of exertion as going to the gym initially but work up to your perfect routine weekly. Housecleaning takes a good deal of physical work and if you have decided on a daily routine, adjust it until you feel you are achieving a fitness level comparable to exercising at a gym.
Ways to judge your exertion levels while Housecleaning
Moderate activity feels somewhat difficult at first. This is what you can look at to judge that your activity intensity is at a moderate level:
- Your breathing quickens, but you’re not out of breath.
- You develop a light sweat after about 10 minutes of activity.
- You can carry on a conversation, but you can’t sing.
During vigorous activity you can feel the activity level is more challenging. This is how you can judge whether you are exercising too vigorously:
- Your breathing is deep and rapid.
- You develop a sweat after only a few minutes of activity.
- You can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath.
Be aware that you do not overexert yourself at the start of your new housecleaning exercise routine, don’t push yourself too hard. If you find that you are short of breath or are in pain, then work out for a shorter period than you initially planned.
For example if you had planned to vacuum the entire house, start off by doing three rooms at a time and working up gradually to vacuuming the whole house in one go.
Now for the clever bit!
We have all dreamed of having that sparkling clean and tidy house, but in today’s fast passed life, after going to work, bathing, getting everyone fed, helping the kids with their homework, and completing all the household chores, do you have time to go to the gym or for a run? Chances are you don’t! You just don’t have the time to work out!
Step up your daily pace on routine house cleaning chores and turn them into the cardio workout you have been looking for, add some ankle and wrist weights and now your strength training is included, and all in the hours of your normal daily routine!