With work, socializing and the cleanliness of the house, it can seem impossible to fit exercise into our busy schedules.
But did you know that one of these activities can actually burn up to 1,300 calories?
You guessed it: cleaning out your pads can get your heart pumping just as much as a HIIT class.
house cleaning service Homeaglow decided to test how hard we sweat while scrubbing, vacuuming and mopping and which rooms burn the most calories.
Ten professional cleaners were asked to wear Fitbits while they searched five properties each.
“Our experiment found that cleaners burned an average of a whopping 830 calories professionally cleaning a home consisting of a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room,” Homeaglow said.
“To put this in perspective, this equates to over an hour and 30 minutes of HIIT training for the average person.”
But if you tackle an “average sized” house with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room, you can actually burn about 1,311 calories, according to Homeaglow.
Of the four rooms, cleaning the kitchen was the most calorie-intensive.
“Our results show that the cleaners in our experiment burned an average of 276 calories per kitchen — the equivalent of jogging for almost 40 minutes at a time,” said a spokesman.
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But cleaning your living room actually burns more calories per minute.
On average, cleaners burned 227 calories but took less time than in the kitchen.
In comparison, cleaning the bedroom consumed the fewest calories.
The room that raised heart rate the most was also the kitchen, where cleaners averaged 140 beats per minute.
Fitness expert Joe Mitton explained, “Heart rate spikes are common with cardio exercise.”
“This is most likely to happen with kitchen cleaning because the tasks are related, like scrubbing, mopping and vacuuming.”
If you want your cleanup to feel more like a workout, physical therapist Dr. Dave Candy to incorporate squatting and lunging motions when cleaning hard-to-reach areas in your home.
He also suggested trying to “keep moving all the time” and “doing extra up and down stairs.”
And if you want to target larger muscle groups, Joe said, “Don’t be afraid to give those surfaces and tiles a good scrub or run the vacuum all over the house.”
“Instead of bending down to clean something, crouch and hold the pose.”
With that in mind, according to wellness trainer Esther Avant, anything can be a workout if you look at it as such.
“Instead of thinking exercise has to happen in the gym, changing your mindset and thinking of any form of exercise as exercise can make a huge difference,” she explained.
“Shifting to thinking of yourself as a regular athlete because you’re actively engaged in ‘housework’ can have positive health implications, especially because identifying as a healthy person impacts other decisions and areas of one’s life.”
How Much Physical Activity Should You Do Per Week?
Adults aged 19 to 64 should be physically active every day if able, NHS guidance says.
You should aim to:
- At least twice a week, do strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, and arms
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week
- Space out the exercises evenly over four to five days a week or every day
- Reduce the amount of time you spend sitting or lying down, and break up prolonged periods of inactivity with some activity
It’s not as intimidating as it sounds.
Moderate activity is any activity that increases your heart rate, quickens your breathing, and makes you feel warmer.
Examples include brisk walking, water aerobics, bicycling, dancing, pushing the lawn mower, and hiking.
During intense activity, you breathe heavily and quickly. These include running, swimming, fast cycling or mountaineering, climbing stairs, and sports like soccer, rugby, netball, and hockey.
Muscle-strengthening activities include carrying shopping bags, yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, and rolling a wheelchair.