You might be surprised to know that you don’t need to go to the gym or bundle up for a winter power walk to stay fit. Daily activities burn calories and can add up to a personal fitness routine. So why hit the gym, when you can burn equal amount of calories at home doing household chores?
SWEEPING AND MOPING:Burning about 240 calories per hour, sweeping/mopping is a great upper and lower body workout. Focus on the dirtiest areas of the floor first, then move to the cleaner portions for an efficient workout and clean.
MOWING THE LAWN: Dump your expensive gardener and tackle the lawn on your own. Use a manual or push mower for maximum calorie burn. Expect to burn about 325 calories per hour.
COOKING: Cooking is the best workout for you! So, put on your chef’s hat and burn about 150 calories per hour.
SHOVELING SNOW: Burn off holiday treats by shoveling your own snow. This heart-pumping exercise burns about 415 calories per hour.
PAINTING THE WALLS: In two minds whether to paint your walls all by yourself? Just go for it! Stain your deck or repaint that unsightly room and you’ll burn about 290 calories per hour. Painting is an excellent way to work your leg and arm muscles while building lean muscle mass.
GARDENING: Working in your garden will help you burn calories and make a more welcoming outdoor environment. You’ll burn about 250 calories per hour. Enjoy the added bonus of fresh vegetables from your garden, which will benefit both your wallet and your waistline.
YARD WORK: Yard work offers some of the most labor intensive household chores. Tasks like digging and raking the leaves not only burn a lot of calories but can help tone muscles in your arms and legs. 30 minutes of digging in your yard will burn about 315 calories, the same amount burned by 45 minutes of bicycling on flat terrain. Digging tones the muscles of your calves, thighs, arms and shoulders. If you do it vigorously enough and continue the activity for 20 minutes or more, you can raise your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Weeding for 30 minutes burns 115 calories, the same amount you’d burn in 15 minutes of weight training. Weeding tones your thighs and buttocks. Just be careful to bend with your legs while keeping your spine straight, or you could hurt your back.
TOP TIPS TO GO FOR THE HOUSEWORK BURN:
- Use a wax polish in a tin rather than a spray – you’ll need to rub much harder to get a nice shine on your furniture.
- Don’t leave things to pile up at the bottom of the stairs – take individual items upstairs as soon as you need to.
- Plan your housework so you constantly have to run up and down the stairs. For example, empty the dishwasher in the kitchen, then make the bed upstairs, then vacuum the living room downstairs, then clean the bathroom upstairs – and so on.
- Keep the laundry basket on the floor when you’re ironing (rather than on a raised surface like a table). That way you’ll constantly have to bend and stretch to reach the clothes.
- Get more creative in the kitchen – peeling, chopping, stirring, whisking and beating all burn more calories than simply heating up a ready meal in a microwave oven. And if you really want to work up a sweat, have a go at making your own bread – kneading the dough is hard work!
- Stick on your favourite music and turn up the volume – it will help you polish and sweep that bit harder.