By Luke Hancock
It’s the new year and that means that most people are making resolutions to become better versions of themselves. This often includes both getting in shape and taking better care of your home. What many people don’t realize is that it’s often possible to do both of these things at once.
Many typical household chores that you do each week actually burn a lot of calories. By combining several chores together, you can create a pretty decent workout plan for yourself that will help you burn calories without needing to go to the gym. At the same time, you’ll also be tackling some of those household chores that need to be done anyway, as well as a few others that you may have been putting off.
Try this workout three to four times a week to get both your body and your home in great shape for the new year.
Start with Sweeping
If you have any surfaces in the home that would be damaged by your vacuum’s beater bar (hardwoods, marbles, and some other stones) then start your workout with some old fashioned sweeping.
Sweeping burns an estimated 156 calories an hour. Sweeping your floors for just 10 minutes a day can help tone your arms and engage your core, and makes for a great warm up for the rest of your workout. It also helps get rid of the grit and dirt on your floors that can potentially scratch them as well.
Move to the Vacuum
After you’ve swept the floors that can’t handle the beater bar, start vacuuming your rugs, carpets, and tile floors.
Vacuuming is a great arm workout as well, since it will have you both pushing and pulling, which engages the arms, shoulders, and cores, as well as some leg muscles. It also burns approximately 170 calories an hour, and most people tend to vacuum for roughly 20 minutes at a time.
Get Out the Mop
Whether you use a steam mop, a disposable mophead or a good old fashioned string mop, you’ll be pleased to know that mopping also burns an estimated 170 calories an hour.
The act of pushing and pulling the mop back and forth over a surface engages muscles from your shoulders to your hips, and if you really lean into it, will also work the muscles in your lower back.
If you have items piling up on tables and counters, start putting them back where they belong to burn an estimated 80 calories an hour. This burn will dramatically increase if you’re also moving things between levels of your home, and need to tackle the stairs multiple times.
In fact, carrying items up and down your stairs can burn as many as 440 calories per hour, particularly if the items you’re carrying have some weight to them.
If you’ve been putting off tackling your closets and storage spaces, you may want to consider the fact that decluttering can burn as many as 240 calories a day, simply by shifting items around.
Remember that this number will also increase if you need to relocate items to a higher floor of your home, or if you’re moving things like old furniture, appliances, lumber, and other heavy items to get them out of your house.
Clean Your Windows
No one likes cleaning the windows, and it can often be one chore that gets put off frequently. But, cleaning your windows is a great arm workout that can burn you as many as 230 calories an hour.
Take 10 minutes a week and work your way through the windows in your home to tone up and remove a lot of grime at once.
Dust Your Home
Dusting is a great total body workout that can burn as many as 166 calories an hour. Depending on what surfaces you’re dusting you can be engaging your arms, shoulders, core, back, and legs.
Try squatting while you dust your baseboards and stretching to reach the tops of hanging pictures or your ceiling fan.
Adding it All Up
If you clean for an average of one hour, engaging in roughly 10 minutes of each activity, you’ll find that you’ll burn around 220, worked your entire body, and you won’t have even had to leave your home.
Add in some more heavy lifting and cleaning once a week to bump that total up to 350, and you’ll find that you’ll be in great shape and that your home will have never looked better.
Take charge of your fitness and your home at the same time, and workout while you clean. You’ll benefit and so will your surroundings, making this year the best one yet.