I’ve let my housework get a teensy bit behind lately and have spent the better part of today playing catchup. In the middle of the frenzy, my cell phone alarm jingled, reminding me that it was time to go exercise.
Oh, really? Like sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, vacuuming, dusting, and moving furniture aren’t exercise? Puh-leeze.
While I was out walking (because rule #1* of Tippy Toe Fitness says: do NOT ignore the exercise alarm!), I wondered how vigorous housework measured up against other exercises (and I actually remembered to look it up when I got home, too!). I knew it wouldn’t be a one-for-one match-up, at least not with the way I clean house, but the comparisons in this article were quite surprising. My selected summary below:
|Household Chore||Calories Burned||Equals This Much|
|(30 minutes)||“Real” Exercise|
|digging in the garden||315||45 minutes flat-ground cycling|
|climbing stairs||285||19.5 minutes skipping|
|scrubbing the bathtub||200||45 minutes ballroom dancing|
|making beds||130||12 minutes jogging on treadmill|
|painting/decorating||160||25 minutes walking|
|washing windows||125||21 minutes power yoga|
|loading dishwasher||105||30 minutes light stretching|
|vacuuming||90||15 minutes kickboxing|
|cooking||80||9 minutes of tennis|
|ironing||71||11 minutes step aerobics|
|dusting||50||10 minutes salsa dusting|
Gives new meaning to the notion of a “home gym”, doesn’t it?
I have no idea as to the scientific accuracy of these numbers, since calories burned depends on all sorts of variables, but it’s safe to say that when time is short (or your exercise alarm doesn’t go off), a little vigorous housework can still burn a significant number of calories and benefit your body.
AND you’ll have a sparkly house when you’re finished!
(Please tell me I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a naturally sparkly house.)
So if you’re avoiding going to a gym or doing more formal exercises (for whatever your reasons), you might consider putting a little oomph! into your household chores.
Now I have to decide whether or not to go to the grocery store, where I can allegedly burn another 150 calories…nah, I’ll wait until tomorrow. I don’t want to overtrain!
Topical inquiry: Your favorite household task? Least favorite?
For me, washing dishes is relaxing, and I don’t mind it at all. Dusting, on the other hand, makes me very cranky.
*(rule #2: on a sunny, breezy morning, use any excuse necessary to get outside)