Keep fit and have a tidy home. Sounds too good to be true? Follow these easy ways to burn calories.
Well, we are now at the end of February, two months into the New Year and can you even remember what resolutions you made? In the UK, top New Year’s resolutions include improving fitness, losing weight and being more productive around the home. But how can we commit to sticking to these promises, often hastily made after a glutinous festive period? Fear not – we’re going to give you some simple tips that will help you tone your body whilst sprucing up your home.
Housework burns calories
Have you noticed that you often get hot and sweaty when tiding your house? This is because everyday cleaning activities, such as hoovering and dusting, can raise your heart rate and strengthen your muscles.
Current UK guidelines state that adults should aim for at least 2½ hours of moderate intensity physical activity every week. Now, whilst we don’t expect you to be sprinting like Usain Bolt when vacuuming, if you are clever you can use your weekly household activities to stay fit and burn calories. All it may take is making some simple tweaks to your normal routine and you could be improving your fitness and moving towards your coveted beach body!
Did you know that everyday tasks such as hovering, dusting and polishing can burn more calories (per half hour) than going for a leisurely walk? Imagine how much more energy you would use if you worked a little harder whilst doing these simple tasks. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and take cleaning your house to the next level!
Time to burn 100 calories:
- Going for a leisurely walk: 34 minutes
- Hoover, dust or polish: 29 minutes
- Pushing supermarket trolley: 25 minutes
- Mopping or scrubbing the floor: 21 minutes
- Digging the garden: 16 minutes
- Rearrange the furniture: 14 minutes
- Skipping: 9 minutes
Put on your favourite tunes
It is well known that we exercise harder when we are listening to motivating music. Listening to our favourite tunes also makes the time pass quicker and increases our mood. So, think of time spent cleaning as ‘me time’ – look out those songs that make you smile and give you energy. Whether you are a die-hard ABBA fan or a 1D-groupie there are jingles with your name on it. If technology is your thing, why not make up a playlist for your household chores?
Clean your windows
How often do you look through your grimey windows and wish they were sparkling clean? Well, why don’t you commit to cleaning your windows every month? Not only would you have a brighter outlook as spring emerges, but you would also be giving yourself a full-body workout each month. All that bending and stretching really tackles those hard-to-reach muscles on the side of your body as well as your arms!
Attack your kitchen / bathroom floors
The next areas of you home that we are going to look at are your kitchen and bathroom floors. If you have children, pets or even just an untidy partner, these sections of your home can seem to be an endless trap for dirt and mess. So we recommend a weekly ‘deep clean’ of both your kitchen and bathroom floors.
It’s a good idea to first sweep your floors – paying particular attention to all the edges as well as areas around the fridge, cooker and toilet. Sweeping is a great way to tone your arm muscles and your waist. If you follow this by a vigorous scrub of your floors – using either a mop or a cloth – you will have given yourself a good workout and you will have sparkling floors.
Climb the stairs
Most UK adults spend far too long sitting down. As a nation, we need to get more active – including in our own homes. One way to do this is to use the stairs as often as possible. So, if you live in a house with stairs, try to add these into your cleaning ‘workout’. You may be used to cleaning all the rooms downstairs, then doing the rooms upstairs. You could try splitting them up and add in some extra stair climbs. It may take you slightly longer, but you will also be working your heart and leg muscles and burning up extra calories. And if you want to burn even more calories try jogging up and down your stairs.
Reach for those high level areas
We all have areas in our homes that we consider ‘out of sight’. These can be cupboards brimming full of unused goods or areas above our eye level. Particularly if you live in an old building, these high areas, for example, in your hall or living room, can easily attract dust and cobwebs. By adding these ‘high-level’ areas into your cleaning routine (it doesn’t need to be every week!) you will, once again, be using more energy and, therefore, burning more calories.
So, you can see that by making a few simple changes you can burn calories as you clean. Hopefully, too, you will be having more fun!