Weight Loss Tip: Turn Housework into a Workout

Weight Loss Tip 102 - Turn Housework into a WorkoutWeight Loss Tip 102 - Turn Housework into a Workout

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Housework stacks up well against exercise and can help with weight loss

Weight Loss Tip 102 - Turn Housework into a Workout

Weight Loss Tip 102 – Turn Housework into a Workout

Woman Washing Dishes

Woman Washing Dishes

I absolutely hate working out and for that matter.  I also despise housework, but if I had my choice, I would rather do housework in the air-conditioning rather than sweat outside in the humidity.  If I could take a magical pill to make my body exercise while searching the internet, I would volunteer to test that drug in a heartbeat.  Exercise, to me, is too much like performing work.  I guess that is why workout begins with the word work.  I have good news for folks that do housework as a part of their daily cycle.  Housework can significantly burn enough calories to make a difference in your waistline.  

We go to great lengths to maintain both a healthy weight and to keep our house from slipping into the chaos of disorder.  Maybe the thought of burning calories while doing housework will motivate both of us to spend a little more time cleaning and a little less time sitting.  No matter what cleaning you have to perform, the act of turning the disorder of your home into order requires an input of some energy.  The energy is needed to complete the activity, and this means that the action will burn calories.  

Housework is a good means to burn calories.  Any workout performed with adequate effort will burn calories.  The point is that the more effort you put in, the higher the calories burned.  So no matter if you are dusting the furniture, vacuuming the carpet, or mopping the kitchen floor, cleaning is an addition to your workout that can give your arms, trunk, and legs a little burn.  And if you have stairs, relish each trip up and down them to add to your aerobic and quadricep workout. Don’t forget the outdoors because mowing the lawn with a push mower and weeding and digging in the garden can be a great workout. 

So, is it better to workout or do housework to burn calories and lose weight?  I would say you should do both.  Repetitive movements are a major cause of injury and disability.  Anyway you can mix it up is good to prevent injury.  If you scrub floors every day for 8 hours a day, you are going to develop some form of tendonitis or arthritis.  I suggest that you go your normal housework with vigor and mix it up with some form of cardiovascular exercise and resistance training.  The point is that you can use housework as a workout 1-2 times a week and still get sufficient calories burned to maintain or lose weight.  This result will make both you and your spouse happier.  

List of housework exercises:

Cleaning bathroom

Cleaning bathroom

The following list is base on ten minutes of each activity.  

  1. Ironing Clothes: 26 Calories 
  2. Moping the floor: 60 Calories
  3. Vacuuming the floor: 35 Calories
  4. Dusting: 28 Calories
  5. Washing windows: 42 Calories
  6. Cleaning the bathroom: 42 calories
  7. Doing laundry: 24 Calories
  8. Washing dishes: 26 Calories

The bottom line: You do not need to leave your home to get a workout.  Household chores can be an effective means of burning calories and may be just as effective as going to the gym.  I still hate them both, but now we can use weight loss or maintenance as a motivation to clean the house. 

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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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