Ramp up your cleaning to make it more of a workout than a chore. Not only will you kill two birds with one stone – you could burn over 300 calories per hour!
As a general rule we don't usually recommend recording activities such as cleaning and cooking as exercise. This is because the exercise we log as additional calories burned should really be activity that is above and beyond our usual routine, and which challenges us physically.
BUT if you really up the intensity of your cleaning and add in some specific exercise moves, you can definitely count your spring clean as a workout! Try these moves to increase the intensity and the calorie burn next time you clean.
Set up for an active clean by making sure you tick off these two essentials:
Get your feather duster out and reach up high into the dust traps and corners of the room. Push up onto your tiptoes to work your calves and pick up the pace when dusting down the blinds. You may think dusting is one of the gentler jobs, but it can be an active part of your cleaning routine – just get your favourite song blasting away and really focus on the muscles you use as you carry out the task.
Pushing around a heavy hoover can be quite the workout in itself – try switching between arms so they both get a workout and don't be afraid to put your back into it! Try reaching out as far as you can when hoovering, sweeping and mopping to engage your core muscles and give them a workout too. Or better yet, walk and lunge while you hoover to really give your legs a workout. Lifting the vacuum up the stairs and vacuuming one step at a time is also great for your core – just make a conscious effort to engage your stomach muscles with each lift.
Giving the windows and mirrors a good clean is a great workout for your arms! Get two cloths, one in each hand, give the windows a spray and then wipe away in a circular motion with vigour. Alternate between each arm and aim for nice big circles to give your shoulder muscles a good workout.
While cleaning the sink, stand on you tiptoes and remain up high until you're done – this is a great way to work your calves. Once you reach the toilet, try squatting down low and holding the squat while you clean around the toilet seat. Do the same with the shower and/or bath – squat to clean the lower parts and stand tall on your tiptoes when cleaning up high.
Grab the full binbag and do some walking lunges to your outside dustbin. Throw away your rubbish and repeat the walking lunges back to the house. However if your dustbins are in full view of the neighbours, this may look a bit odd! So instead do 5 lunges on each leg, while holding the binbag, before taking the bin out.
Pick up the wash basket and perform 10 squats while holding it in a bear hug. Take the clothes to the washing machine and hold a low squat position while loading the clothes into the washer. You should start to feel the burn with this one!
Perform calf raises while standing to wash the dishes. Dry each item individually with a tea towel and then dance across the kitchen to put them in the rightful place, one at a time.
Cleaning at this intensity while incorporating some squats, lunges, calf raises and dancing could help you burn around 300 calories or more per hour!
Nutritionist Emma Brown (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.