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Published On
November 21, 2022

Can Cleaning Be A Form Of Indoor Exercise?

Written By
Osi Egwuogu

Adulthood and its responsibilities can often make it challenging to fit a good workout into your schedule. You need to go to the gym and burn off some calories, but you don’t have the energy for anything intense after a stressful day, or perhaps you just don’t have the time.

You might have a lot on your plate, and twenty-four hours is just not enough to cook, clean, work, take care of your kids (if you have them), do the million other things you need to do, and still fit in a good workout, whether it is an indoor exercise or not.

Well, here’s some good news for you. Your house cleaning can serve as a substitute.

Does cleaning count as a workout?

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You might be shocked to see your home cleaning being mentioned as an alternative to exercise. Your mind must be roaring the question, “Does housework count as exercise?”

Before or after a stressful day, you might need more motivation to sweat it out at the gym for thirty minutes to over an hour. You want a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout. An exercise that won’t leave you completely exhausted. That is where your home cleaning comes in.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends about 150 minutes of moderate activity every week to stay healthy. Surprisingly, you can add your house cleaning to your goal of 150 minutes of moderate weekly exercise. Sitting on your couch, you burn about one calorie per minute, while cleaning efficiently burns about 3-4 times that amount. 

This shows that your house cleaning might just be the pocket Hercules you need to up your fitness game.

How many calories are burned during housework?

cleaning can be an indoor exercise

Below is a breakdown of the calories burned during cleaning for a 150-pound person. You can increase or decrease the numbers depending on your weight and the intensity of the cleaning exercise.

  1. Lawn mowing: When mowing your lawn, you use your entire upper body, especially the muscles in your back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps. This cleaning exercise burns about 375 calories per hour.
  1. Sweeping: This cleaning exercise is essential to your home cleaning, which you get to do very often. It works your shoulders, arms, and core and burns about 272 calories per hour.
  1. Gardening: Gardening is a full-body workout. As you weed, water, and plant in your garden, there is a lot of pulling and even pushing, which targets your arms, shoulders, and back. There is also some squatting, which targets your lower body. This cleaning exercise burns about 287 calories per hour.
  1. Car cleaning: When done correctly, including the inside and outside of the car, it can burn about 204 calories per hour.
  1. Mopping: Like with vacuuming, this is a common home cleaning activity. It targets the shoulders and the core, burning 248 calories per hour.
  1. Vacuuming: This home cleaning activity targets the core, shoulders and arms. It burns 176 calories per hour.
  1. Shoveling snow: TIf you’ve ever done this chore before, you’ll know it’s a full body strength training exercise. It targets your core, arms, shoulders, back, and lower body. This exercise burns a whopping 428 calories per hour.
  1. Moving furniture: When doing your spring cleaning or even during a move, moving your furniture burns about 409 calories per hour.
  1. Bathroom cleaning: Scrubbing your bathroom requires a lot of upper body strength and can make you break a sweat if done right. This home cleaning activity burns about 180 calories per hour.
  1. Washing the dishes: This requires you to stand for some time and involves movement of your upper body. This house chore burns about 164 calories per minute. The calories burned during cleaning your kitchen can be a tremendous motivating factor, especially during the holidays when the dishes are piled sky-high.

Tips to turn your home cleaning into a mini indoor exercise

You have seen that the answer to the question “Does housework count as exercise?” is YES!

Now the problem is how to make cleaning a workout. How you clean your home is a significant deciding factor in how many calories you burn during cleaning. Your house cleaning torches off the calories, but how do you turn it into the gym session you need? 

The key is intensity.

Here are some tips to help you get in a great workout as you go about your house cleaning.

  1. Set a timer: A timer can set your brain into panic mode. When you place a timer for yourself, you push yourself to be faster, thereby bumping up the intensity of your cleaning exercise.
  1. Listen to fast/ upbeat music: This gets you in the groove, and you automatically work faster as you tend to work to the beat of the song. Throwing in some dance moves is a huge plus, as dancing on its own is a great workout.
  1. Use wearable weights: Weighted vests and ankle weights help bump up the intensity of your cleaning exercise, which ultimately results in more calories burned during cleaning.
  1. Use proper body mechanics: It is essential to engage your core and maintain good body posture while doing your house cleaning as it helps to engage the muscle groups required properly. Keeping good form, and the mind-to-muscle connection is critical here.
  2. Ditch your cleaning caddy: It is a good idea to take only some of the items you need for your cleaning exercise at a time. This way, you must walk to and fro to get additional cleaning materials, . This is especially great if you have stairs.

In summary…

Your house cleaning is a perfect way to make up for your skipped session at the gym. Remember that intensity is key as you carry out your cleaning exercise. Also note that this should not be treated as a primary form of exercise if your goal is to lose weight.

However, if you still need to go to the gym to get in that workout, Clean Tu Casa has your back. We offer professional cleaning services, which could be one-time, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Reach out to us for your free quote today.

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