I spend a lot of time trying to find easy ways to get my daily workout in. After a pretty strenuous day in the yard, with sweat pouring and all, I realized ... you can burn some serious calories doing yard and house work! But how many!?
So I did some research, and found a couple of sites that helped me get a pretty good idea of how great a workout housework can be! The calories can add up quickly, and you can get a great workout around the house, meeting (or even surpassing) those at the gym!
* NOTE: The caloric examples below are for the average 5'9", 150lb. man in his mid 20's. You can use the Calorie Burn Calculator at http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc for help figuring out your personal numbers.
Yard work is some of the most labor intensive you can do. Doing muscle toning and strengthening tasks, like digging and raking the leaves, not only burn lots of calories but can help tone muscles in your arms and legs.
- 30 minutes of digging in your yard will burn about 126 calories, the same amount burned by 18 minutes of low impact aerobics; and surprisingly, over 32 minutes of light weight training. 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.
- Washing your car works your arms and abdominal. For every 30 minutes of car washing, you'll burn 153 calories; which is equivalent to 17 minutes of Zumba!
- Weeding for 30 minutes burns anywhere between 184 to 225 calories ... pretty close to the same as running 5mph for just over 20 minutes. 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.
- Raking leaves for 30 minutes burns 135 calories. The resistance offered by the leaves makes this chore a type of light weight training, which it far exceeds calorie burning, by 15% . Raking leaves tones all the major muscle groups in your body.
And let's not forget our inside chores! Everything from mopping to washing dishes offers a calorie burning benefit! Here's some tips on indoor workouts, you didn't realize you were doing:
- Scrubbing the bath for 30 minutes burns 200 calories. Removing that stubborn soap scum from your tiles is a great way to tone the muscles of your arms and shoulders.
- Carrying shopping bags for 15 minutes burns 55-90 calories, and depending on how heavy the bags are. Distribute the weight evenly on each hand, or swap back and forth at regular intervals. Carrying too much weight on one side won't just overdevelop those muscles, it could injure your spine.
- Cleaning windows for 30 minutes burns 112 calories, the same number used in 20 minutes of power yoga (about one-third the length of a typical power yoga class).
- Loading the dishwasher for 15 minutes burns about 30-35 calories, which is less than the 77 calories burned when washing them by hand.
- Mopping for 30 minutes burns about 153 calories, just under what you'd burn in doing pushups for the same amount of time!
- Ironing for 30 minutes burns about 77 calories and tones the muscles of the upper body. Stand up straight at the ironing board and press down firmly. Switch hands periodically so you don't overdevelop one arm.
Other Calorie Burners
Here are some other activities that burn surprising amounts of calories:
- Climbing stairs for 30 minutes, burns about 274 calories
- Painting your house for 30 minutes, burns about 171 calories
- Showering and toweling off for 30 minutes burns about 144 calories
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