Your Health Tamar Raucher | one year ago

Clean Your House, Clear Your Mind, Burn Calories

If your idea of spring cleaning is to simply open a window, stop reading now. If you hate to exercise, but LOVE to clean, proceed with caution. If you thoroughly hate both, but know they are necessary, then read on. This article is for you.

“While cleaning the house may not burn as many calories as a gym workout, there are lots of things you can do to up the burn,” says Stephanie Culp, wellness manager for Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge in Morganton. “But you have to keep moving – and I’m not talking about a feather duster.” Culp, a certified wellness coach, says exercise and cleaning pack a one-two punch: a healthier body and mind. “Spring is a great time to thoroughly clean everything and start fresh,” she says. “Doing so can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression, while increasing your energy and reducing blood pressure.” As you can imagine, mopping and vacuuming will burn the most calories. Moving furniture to clean in those hard-to-reach places and reaching to tackle ceiling fans and the tops of windows can also add to the “workout.” Some experts estimate three hours of housework can burn 600 calories. “It’s a stretch to say that housework is a good cardio workout, but it is exercise,” Culp says. In fact, the American Heart Association does count housework as moderate exercise. So go ahead and add your cleaning minutes to your exercise tally. If you clean for two hours, put down at least a 60 minutes for your weekly recommended goal of 150 minutes of activity.

How to increase the burn while spring cleaning:

  • Do walking lunges when mopping and vacuuming.
  • Leave cleaning supplies in the cabinet, making extra trips necessary to grab what you need.
  • Turn on the music to help you pick up the pace.
  • Squat to reach the lower spots. Don’t bend.
  • Vigorously scrub the tub to break a sweat.