Everyone knows that exercising is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and improve your overall health. Yet, many people are not into exercising, mainly due to their hectic schedules.
But lack of time should never be an excuse for leading a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to obesity, heart problems, diabetes and many other health issues.
If you don’t have time to go to the gym or follow a proper workout plan, there are other ways to keep your body moving. Start doing household chores!
You can burn calories doing everyday activities, such as ironing, dusting, vacuuming, gardening, mopping, sweeping, cooking, washing dishes and so on.
The number of calories you will burn doing chores depends on several factors, including the type of activity, the speed and intensity with which it is performed as well as the duration. Your age, metabolism, level of physical fitness and body weight also impact how many calories you’ll burn.
Irrespective of these factors, housework is a great way to burn calories. The more effort you put in, the greater the benefit you’ll get.
Here are the top 10 household chores that aid weight loss.
1. Tidying and Cleaning the House
Tidying and maintaining a household is a workout in itself.
Dedicating one hour a day to tidying your house by making the beds, reaching into cabinets to clean all the nooks and crannies, bending to pick up things on the floor and other general tidying activities can definitely get you into shape.
Just dusting the house for 10 minutes daily will help tone your upper and lower arm muscles.
Also, vacuum your whole house every few days. While vacuuming, perform forward lunges when you push the vacuum forward. Do 15 to 20 minutes of lunges when you vacuum to tone your thigh and hip muscles.
On weekends, you can dedicate some time to cleaning windows and doors. Use your left and right hands equally as you do so. Also, reach up as high as you can to work your abs, glutes and lower back muscles.
For added benefits, plan your housework so you frequently have to run up and down the stairs.
2. Sweeping and Mopping the Floor
No matter how much you tidy your house, your work is incomplete if the floor isn’t clean. So, it’s time to sweep and mop the floor.
Both sweeping and mopping can strengthen your arms and work your legs as well as help burning some calories. Your waistline will benefit, too.
Bending and stretching, for example, when you sweep and mop the floor turns the activity into a great aerobic workout. Just one hour of pushing a mop across the floor and wringing it out in a bucket can help burn calories. Also, it leaves your floors spic-and-span.
So, the next time you do not feel like going to the gym, simply grab your broom and mop and start cleaning.
3. Doing the Laundry
Though a dreaded chore for many, doing the laundry can burn some calories. This may even motivate you to get the job done.
Washing clothes, folding them, lifting them and ironing them requires a good amount of energy.
Instead of putting all your clothes in the washing machine, do some laundry by hand every week. Fill a bathtub with water, laundry detergent and dirty clothes. Rub the clothes against themselves and each other for 10 to 20 minutes. Next, rinse the clothes with fresh water, squeeze out the excess liquid and hang them out in the sun to dry. This will give your hands and arms a nice workout.
Finally, when the clothes are dry, iron them. Stand up straight at the ironing board and press down firmly to iron your clothes. This will help tone the muscles of your upper body.
So, you can turn your laundry into a personal weight-loss trainer, especially during the weekends when you have time to complete all the steps in a day.
The benefits of gardening go beyond increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. It works as a fitness powerhouse that can help you drop extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can burn up to 330 calories in just one hour of light gardening and yard work. This is more than most other moderate-intensity activities for the same amount of time!
When you are in your garden digging in the soil, mixing compost and watering the plants, you’re using both your upper and lower body. The frequent standing and squatting postures are good for your health, too.
These tasks also help tone the muscles of your calves, thighs, arms and shoulders. In addition, gardening can raise your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system.
A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that both female and male community gardeners had significantly lower body mass index (BMI) as compared to their neighbors who were not in the community gardening program.
5. Rake Your Yard
Like gardening, raking your yard connects you to nature and burns calories at the same time.
In fact, raking leaves for 30 minutes can help you burn more than 200 calories. Rake at a rigorous, continuous pace that causes you to break a light sweat and breathe a little heavier than normal. However, be mindful of keeping your back straight to prevent lower back strain.
Also, raking the yard tones all the major muscle groups in your body.
Apart from raking leaves, mowing the lawn with a push mower is another great yard work activity that helps burn calories.
So, skip using the leaf blower or paying the neighborhood teenager to do the job. Rake the leaves yourself to reap the health and weight-loss benefits.
6. Car Washing
For those who are car lovers, just washing your car can help you lose weight. A standard, manual car wash burns about 150 calories every 30 minutes.
Activities like rinsing the car with water, rubbing the surface to loosen dirt, scrubbing each section with a sponge, and rinsing away the soap and dirt require a significant amount of time and energy.
Washing your car works your arms, legs, core and abdominal muscles, due to the sweeping motions you perform to do your task. You can also incorporate both lunges and split squats to tone your legs.
Try to wash your car by hand every week. You simply need a sponge, some mild liquid detergent, water and a bucket.
Going a step further and waxing your car will burn even more calories because it’s more strenuous activity.
7. Chopping Firewood
During the winter months, you need lots of wood for your fireplace. Instead of buying prepared firewood, chop it yourself and get the benefit of losing some pounds.
Yes, you can definitely lose weight chopping wood. You’ll burn nearly 300 calories per 30 minutes of chopping.
It will also tone the muscles of your back, shoulders and core. Additionally, chopping and splitting wood can improve your cardiovascular endurance and your strength.
When chopping wood, make safety a priority. Aside from a good quality ax, you must also wear protective gear like safety glasses, gloves and heavy boots.
8. Shoveling Snow
Shoveling snow is hard work, making it one of the best workouts during the winter months. However, shoveling snow is not for everyone. Those who have back problems or are sensitive to cold temperature should let others take care of this task.
For the physically fit and healthy, shoveling snow in cold weather can boost the health benefits of regular physical activity.
While shoveling, you can burn on average anywhere from 300 to 500 calories per hour. You can expect not only a slightly higher calorie burn, but also an extra boost to your heart as well as improving your aerobic fitness and muscular endurance.
When shoveling, use your legs to help lift the snow and keep your abdominal muscles tight to help protect your lower back. Also, make sure to wear appropriate clothes, including a hat and gloves.
9. Paint a Room
If you’re a creative person when it comes to fixing up your home, you can take up painting to burn a good amount of calories.
Painting involves lots of movement, as you obviously can’t sit in one place and paint your house. You are constantly standing, reaching, climbing, squatting, sitting, bending over and carrying around buckets of paint.
You’ll also probably have to move a few pieces of furniture away from the walls. You can paint using either brushes or rollers, both of which can benefit your body.
So, if you paint a room for one hour, it’s a great workout for your whole body including toning your arms, tightening your abs and strengthening your core muscles.
The more strenuous activity of laying carpet or refinishing furniture are also great options.
The next time your house needs a makeover, don’t hire anyone. Do the work yourself.
10. Start Cooking
Cooking is a healthy habit. First of all, it will help you to keep a check on your calorie intake. Secondly, you can turn cooking into a workout session.
The peeling, chopping, stirring, whisking and beating that you need to do in your kitchen will help burn calories. For an intense workout, you can start making your own bread – kneading the dough is hard work!
Also, loading the dishwasher or even washing the dishes by hand will help tone your arms.
When it’s time to go grocery shopping, don’t take your car. Instead, walk to the neighborhood store and shop for everything you need for your cooking. Also, carrying shopping bags for 30 minutes is a good workout. Be sure to always distribute the weight evenly on each hand, or swap back and forth at regular intervals.