Exercise and household chores

Exercise and household chores

How to Exercise and Lose Weight by Turning Everyday Household Chores into an Exercise Routine

House cleaning can be a great way to reduce mess, sanitize the home and burn calories. Many homeowners and renters do not realize that they burn anywhere from 80 to 500 calories through regular house and garden maintenance. By expanding on your daily and weekly cleaning routine, you can develop muscles in your legs, arms, back and abdominal muscles. It is important to maintain good form in all exercises in order to avoid injury. You should also be creative with your household tasks, creating new exercises and motions as your body develops. Read more to find out how to exercise and lose weight by turning everyday household chores into an exercise routine

1 Pick up items on the floor or tables by squatting. Keeping your back straight, squat deeply by bending your knees. Hold for 15 seconds before rising up again.

  1. Repeat with each item of clothing, toy or other item. If you are unable to hold for 15 seconds, start with 5 seconds and increase as your hamstrings and quadriceps grow larger.
  2. If you have a small child, put the child on 1 hip and do the squat to burn extra calories. Switch the hip on which the child sits halfway through your clean up.

2 Squeeze in your stomach and oblique muscles as you sweep. Keep your back straight, bring the broom bristles as far away as possible and pull in. Do this for 5 minutes in each room up to 3 times per day.

3 Dance while cooking dinner. Most people in the United States spend approximately 30 minutes cooking dinner. Turn on your favorite music and move your hips while you stir. Do spins and walk in place while you wait.

  1. While you stand still you can do shoulder squeezes. Pull your shoulders together for 3 seconds at a time and then release. Repeat at least 10 times or until you are done waiting.
  2. Depending upon the amount you decide to dance, you can burn 80 to 400 calories while you cook.

4 Increase the pace of any household activity. Just like dancing while you are cooking, you can turn on upbeat music and try to achieve a pace where you are slightly out of breath. You can do this as you clean up, wash windows or sweep the floor.

5 Wash the windows inside and out. This is a great shoulder conditioning workout as long as you use a cloth in a circular motion. Do this for at least 30 minutes to work your shoulders and arms and burn approximately 150 calories.

6 Do a deep squat as you clean your toilet. Instead of sitting on your knees and leaning forward, you can stand straight and squat, trying to stay balanced. Apply your cleaning product, brush the toilet and wipe clean.

7 Rake your yard for at least 30 minutes. Just like sweeping the floor, you should flex your stomach and oblique muscles and keep your back straight. Pull as far away as possible and squat, rather than bend, to pick up the leaves.

  1. This activity can be extended to other garden activities, such as mowing the lawn, flower planting, composting or general gardening. These activities, when done for at least 1/2 hour, will result in burning between 150 and 190 calories. Try to keep your back straight, as many people can end up with lower back strain.


Move your furniture each time you plan to vacuum the house. Moving furniture in good form, by bending your knees and straightening your back, is a form of weightlifting. Move each piece of furniture slightly and vacuum behind and replace it again.


Squeeze in your abdominal and buttock muscles as you vacuum. Use large sweeping motions and smaller motions. Reach up high with your vacuum extension.

  1. Vacuuming a house can burn approximately 80 calories, where moving furniture can burn over 200 calories.


Scrub your floors each week by hand. Use a knee pad or do deep squats while you reach the corners with a cleaning product and a brush. Mopping the floors burns just a portion of the 190 calories you can burn by hand-cleaning 1 floor.


Wash your car by hand every week. Grab a sponge, some mild liquid detergent, water and a bucket and wash all areas of the car. Use long sweeping motions to get hard to reach places and squat down to clean tires and the running board.

  1. Cleaning your car by hand can burn approximately 150 calories and work your arms, core muscles, and legs.


Do some laundry by hand every week. Fill a bathtub with water, laundry detergent and dirty clothes. Rub the clothes against themselves and each other for 10 to 20 minutes.

  1. Rinse the clothes twice in fresh water and squeeze to dry. For more delicate items, allow them to hang and drip dry or lay flat. Be careful not to lean too far into the bathtub, as that can put extra strain on your back. Make sure your core muscles are flexed the entire time and you will be getting an excellent core workout.
  2. Cleaning upholstery and curtains by hand can also have the same effect. This may only need to be done monthly or yearly.

Choose 2 to 4 activities to engage in everyday, in order to attempt to burn between 300 and 400 calories, what many people aim to burn during a gym workout.


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