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Housework Can Be a Workout

You know those days where it seems like you’re being pulled in a million directions and you can barely feed yourself properly and shower, let alone squeeze in a workout? Or after a particularly stressful week, all you want to do is lie on the couch and veg, although your house is a disaster zone? Been there, done that, too. But instead of choosing between chores or a workout, why not combine them?

Turning housework into a workout is a way to kill (or clean) two birds with one stone. All it takes is a good attitude (especially if you dislike cleaning!) and a nice variety of different types of activities to keep your heart rate up and your muscles challenged. Below are three cleaning activities, what muscles you’ll work when doing them and how many calories an average 150-pound person can expect to burn in 30 minutes.

The Housework Workout

1. Vacuuming. Pushing a big vacuum around can burn about 120 calories in 30 minutes and is a good way to work those shoulders, triceps and back muscles. For an added boost, perform walking lunges when vacuuming!

2. Scrubbing floors or the bathroom. If you’ve ever cleaned a floor or bathroom by hand, you know how hard of work it can be. Half an hour of scrubbing burns 130 calories an hour, and is one heck of an all around upper-body endurance exercise. If you’d like to up the calorie burn here, don’t stay on your hands and knees while scrubbing. Instead take every opportunity you can to stand up and squat — with proper form of course! And, remember, use non-toxic cleaning products!

3. Yardwork. Now that it’s fall, there’s a lot of work to do in the yard before winter, from picking up leaves to planting mums. Raking leaves burns almost 150 calories a half hour while trimming and general gardening burns anywhere from 120-160 calories in 30 minutes. To make it even more intense, pick up that pace when raking, carrying or sweeping to really get your heart rate up.

So crank up some tunes and get to cleaning — I mean working out!

View Best Calorie Burning Chores Slideshow

November 6th, 2010

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