Spring-Cleaning: Here’s How Many Calories You Burn During 15 Common Chores
You can spring-clean your home and burn calories at the same time by doing several household chores, from sweeping the floors to pulling weeds.
Spring cleaning can burn calories
Doing chores around the house may not feel as much like exercise as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or any workout for that matter. But, if you spend enough time spring cleaning or doing multiple chores at once, those calories can add up. Read on to see just how many calories you burn after 30 minutes of various spring-cleaning activities. Note: These calculations were made using the average weights of American women (166 lbs/75 kg) and men (195 lbs/88 kg) over the age of 20 based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sweeping the floors
Sweeping the floors can give your arms and legs a bit of a workout. In just half an hour, women can burn 87 calories and men can burn a total of 102 calories. If you're sweeping for a full hour, women and men can burn anywhere between 174 to 204 calories.
Vacuuming can burn slightly more calories than just sweeping. In 30 minutes, vacuuming burns 94 calories for women and 111 calories for men. You may even be motivated to vacuum the whole house. Tip: Make it fun and do some dance moves as you push the vacuum forward and back. (Whatever you do, never vacuum these things.)
Dusting the furniture
Simply dusting the furniture in your house can count as a bit of exercise. Women can burn 57 calories while men can burn 66 calories in just 30 minutes.
Washing dishes by hand
A dishwasher is an important kitchen staple that can save you time and energy. But, if you're looking to burn some extra calories, try washing your dishes by hand. In just 30 minutes, women can burn 49 calories while men can burn 58 calories. Need some inspiration to exercise? Find out what happens to your body when you start walking 10,000 steps a day.
Taking out the trash
You may debate with your roommate, significant other, or the kids on who's taking out the trash. But, here's a reason why you should volunteer. Taking out the trash can burn 57 calories for women and 58 calories for men. Plus, you could give your arms a good workout lifting the heavy bags. Find out 15 more workouts for people who hate exercise.
Organizing your bedroom
Spring-cleaning often involves clearing out the clutter. Decluttering the bedroom can burn up to 189 calories for women and 223 calories for men. Tip: Use this moment to also change your bedsheets. You can stretch your legs and do a lunge as you tuck your bed sheets on each side. (Psst—this is how often you should be washing your bedsheets.)
Scrubbing the bathtub
Scrubbing surfaces like the bathtub can give you what feels like a full-body workout. After 30 minutes, women can lose up to 106 calories and men lose up to 124 calories. Plus, using your arms to scrub back and forth can help build your upper body strength and work towards toning your biceps. Find out exactly how often you should clean your bathtub.
From the inside and out, you can burn calories when washing your windows. In just a 30-minute window washing session, women can burn 126 calories and men 149 calories. Feeling overwhelmed by chores? These spring cleaning tips can help!
Rearranging your living room furniture
Rearranging furniture can be daunting, but it could be a big help when it comes to getting some exercise. Moving things around in the living room can burn up to 189 calories for women and 221 calories for men in 30 minutes. Always remember to use caution when lifting heavy items. Don't forget this nifty trick to remove furniture dents in carpets!
Sweeping the front walk
Similar to sweeping the floors inside your home, sweeping the front walk (if you have one), can help burn calories. A 30-minute sweep with the broom can burn off 113 calories for women and 133 calories for men. Don't miss these proven weight loss tips inspired by TV's The Biggest Loser.
Washing the car
Although tempting, skip the carwash drive-thru. Instead, opt to do it yourself. After just 30 minutes, women burn 76 calories and men burn off 89 calories. Double your calorie burn and work up a sweat losing anywhere from 152 calories to 178 calories in an hour. For a car that looks like it just rolled off the lot, use these cleaning tricks from professional car washers.
Watering plants is not only therapeutic, it can also help you burn more calories. Women burn off 57 calories and men burn off 66 calories while tending to the greenery. Here are the best air-cleaning plants, according to NASA.
Mowing the lawn
Mowing the lawn may not be your favourite activity. But, if you're looking to maximize how many calories you burn in 30 minutes, look no further. Women can burn 170 calories while men can burn 199 calories, all while getting some fresh air and keeping your lawn neat and orderly. Need more motivation? Check out these inspirational weight loss transformations.
Cleaning out your garden and pulling weeds can help build and strengthen muscles. Just doing 30 minutes of pulling weeds can help women burn 132 calories and 155 calories for men. Do this for an hour and you can burn over 200 calories. This easy change can also help you burn body fat faster.
Moving boxes of winter clothes into the attic
Spring-cleaning is the perfect time to rearrange your closet. Move out your winter clothes to make room for your spring and summer clothes. Simply moving boxes from the bedroom to the attic by going up and down the stairs can burn a significant amount of calories. In just 30 minutes, women can burn 302 calories and men can burn 354 calories. (Just make sure you never store these things in the attic.)
What about other chores?
The CalorieLab has a nifty tool that can calculate the calories burned during dozens of activities just by putting in your weight. But if the activity you’re searching for isn’t listed there, you can calculate approximate calories burned with one equation. Here’s how it works:
- Find the metabolic equivalent (MET) of the activity, which is the intensity rate you’re exerting. Don’t worry: Arizona State University and the National Cancer Institute already did that for you.
- Multiply the MET by 3.5 (the number of millilitres of oxygen you consume per kilogram of your body weight)
- Multiply that number by your weight in kilograms (to convert from pounds, divide your weight by 2.2046)
- Divide that number by 1,000 (so you’re working in litres instead of millilitres)
- Multiply that number by 5, since you burn 5 calories for every litre of oxygen you breathe in
- Last but not least, multiply that by the number of minutes you engaged in the activity. Voila, the number of calories burned.
Next, find out 50 ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.