HOW TO: Make Spring Cleaning Count as Exercise

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How to Make Spring Cleaning Count as Exercise

Do you ever wish you had more hours in a day? Keeping up with kids, housework, laundry, shopping and all of the other mom jobs you do can quickly fill up your schedule, leaving you with little time to take proper care of yourself.

A great way to find time for those things that get left by the wayside is to multi-task, something most modern folks do quite well. Whether it’s listening to your favorite audio book on your way to work or running while listening to a new podcast, we’re always finding ways to do more in less time.

For instance, going to the gym is probably something you rarely have time for. But did you know sweeping your floor for 60 minutes gives you about the same workout as riding a stationary bike for 30 minutes? So why not take your spring cleaning tasks — something you have to do anyway — and turn them into an effective workout routine?

Below are a week’s worth of spring cleaning activities you can do in two hours or less that equal 429 calories burned, based on a 150 pound body weight, to help you get your house and your body in tip-top shape. To make sure you get the most out of cleaning time, you can add in small exercises such as squats, lunges and calf raises while you work.

Monday

Start with your windows. An hour of window washing will rid you of about 214 calories. Spend the next hour cleaning out a closet, unpacking some boxes and occasionally lifting with moderate effort, for another 250 calories and a grand total of 464 calories in two hours.

Tuesday

Tackle the tile and tub. Scrubbing your bathroom can burn as much as 271 calories an hour, and if you hand-scrub the floor as well you can double that amount, for a sparkly clean bathroom and a major calorie burn of 542 in a two-hour period.

Wednesday

Attack those floors today. Sweeping floors and carpets can burn up to 236 calories in an hour. Take another hour afterward to mop them, and you add an additional 250, for a satisfying expenditure of 486 calories.

Thursday

Washing dishes, taking out the garbage and other kitchen cleaning chores can net you a calorie loss of about 179. Hand-scrub the floor and you can add an additional 271 calories shed for a Thursday total of about 450.

Friday

Spring is a time for new beginnings, and re-arranging your furniture can make your home feel brand new. It can also be a major calorie burner, coming in at 429.

Saturday

Get the kiddos outside and spend an hour washing the car for a 312 calorie expenditure. While you have the hose out, one hour of watering your lawn burns an additional 107 calories for a total of 419 calories in two hours.

Sunday

You and your house look great. Take the day off and just enjoy what you’ve accomplished.

Tips to Add an Extra Calorie Burning Boost

If you want to add an extra boost to your calorie burn, try one or more of these tips:

  • Cook from scratch instead of simply heating up a ready-made meal. You’ll shed a lot more calories standing on your feet while peeling, cutting, stirring and pounding than you will by simply popping something into the microwave.
  • If you have more than one floor in your home, plan your cleaning so it forces you to go from floor to floor over and over again. One hour of even moderate stair climbing can burn a whopping 516 calories.
  • Turn up the music to pick up the pace and add some intensity to your cleaning routine.

While we are comparing two hours of cleaning with one hour of exercise, it’s important to remember that you’re not only getting a workout but you’re accomplishing tasks you would be doing anyway. By combining activities, you get the best of both and still have time for all the other mom jobs that make up your busy daily routine.

Megan Wild is an avid outdoor exerciser who enjoys hiking and biking outdoors. When she’s not sprucing up her home, you can find her updating her blog, Your Wild Home.

 

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