Sure, you could don workout gear and head to the gym for an exercise class. Or, put on your sneakers and go for a run outside. But why not do a little creative multi-tasking and combine your workout with some cleanup?
After all, household cleaning adds up fast in burned calories. So if you’re trying to add in more time to workout and keep your calories in check, try these exercise routines you can do right at home. Some of your home’s biggest trouble spots are also opportunities to burn calories. Bonus: Your house will be squeaky clean afterwards!*
These room-by-room counts will give you an idea of how many calories you’re trimming while you sweat and scrub. Mix in some toning and cardio exercises for a more complete workout. (Note: The exercises are not included in the calorie tally.)
- Get out the broom and sweep for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 136
Quick cardio: 30 jumping jacks
- Move around chairs and other furniture for 15 minutes. Calories burned: 100
Tone arms: Use soup cans as weights; do 30 bicep curls
- Mop the floor for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 153
Tone lower legs: 15 squats
- Stovetop getting gunky? Fridge getting sticky? Scrub for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 180
Calories burned cleaning? You’ll trim 569 calories, notes SHAPE.
- Vacuum the room and baseboards for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 130
Quick cardio: Run in place for one minute
- Clean the windows until they’re streak free for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 125
Tone arms: Do 15 push ups, regular or on your knees
- Wash the sheets and make the beds for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 130
Tone lower legs: Lunge for 8-16 reps on each leg
- Climb up and down the stairs to round up cleaning supplies, get sheets, and bring up and down the vacuum for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 285
Calories burned cleaning? You’ll shave off 670 calories according to Fit Day.
- Get the bathtub clean by scrubbing away for 15 minutes. Calories burned: 90
Quick cardio: 15 jump squats (just make sure the floor isn’t slippery!)
- Keep scrubbing the sinks and countertops for another 15 minutes. Calories burned: 90
Tone your core: Hold a plank for one minute
- Wash the floor and baseboards for 30 minutes. Calories burned: 187
Tone your core: 15-30 abdominal crunches
Calories burned cleaning? You’ll clean away 367 calories, says SHAPE.
General cleaning tasks
Overall, you’ll burn around 127 calories for every 30 minutes that you’re doing chores, estimates WebMD. To make the most of your housecleaning workout make sure you’re not straining your muscles. For example, avoid leaning over to lift laundry baskets and instead lift with your legs.
*Please note: These are estimates and not exact amounts for calories burned. The more vigorously you work, and the longer you perform the activity, the more calories you’ll burn. All totals are estimates from the cited websites.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2016.