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It’s hard for busy wives and moms to take time off to go to the gym – heck, most of us don’t even have time to get enough sleep! But that doesn’t mean we don’t get exercise. Household chores like cleaning the kitchen still count as physical activity, and can help you lose weight and improve your health.
HOW MANY CALORIES DOES HOUSECLEANING BURN?
It’s time for a little “kitchen cardio”! Mopping your kitchen floors for an hour can burn 153 calories, but if your floors happen to be a little sticky and messy, go on your knees and scrub. That extra effort, even for just half an hour, will raise your calorie burn to 187 calories.
Now what about the kitchen sink and counters, or the gunk on the microwave and oven? That chore will engage your arm muscles, and if you lean and bend over, even your core. If you really put a lot of energy into it, you can burn as much as 90 calories in 20 minutes. (Unfortunately, spritzing it with bleach solution and mindlessly wiping it with a rag burns next to nothing at al. You have to work those muscles, girl!)
Is it time to clean the kitchen windows? Reaching up, bending down, and constantly using your arms all mimic the movements in a yoga class. Assuming you’ve got a lot of windows to clean – might as well do the living room windows too, after all – you can burn 167 calories.
Once a week, try to clean out the fridge and dust off the kitchen pantry and cabinets. You’ll not only get more organized, and find out the ingredients you have so you can use them before they get spoiled, but you’ll burn anywhere from 85 to 167 calories depending on how much you lift and move around.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR CALORIE BURN WHILE CLEANING
Calorie estimates will always depend on how long you do an activity, how much stress you put on your muscles, or whether you get your heart rate up into the calorie burning range. So, if you go things about in a leisurely way, you’re not going to get enough exercise to actually lose weight and slim down.
One way to increase the calorie burn (and make kitchen cleaning more fun!) is to play music and dance while you do it. Think of it as turning your daily household chores into an at-home Zumba class! You can also strap on some wrist and leg weights, and consciously tuck in your tummy and engage your core as you move around.
CAN HOUSECLEANING ALONE HELP YOU ACHIEVE FITNESS AND WEIGHTLOSS GOALS?
Most fitness experts recommend combining everyday activity with even short and simple exercise routines. For busy moms and housewives who can’t go to the gym, consider home exercise videos or even taking a walk or jogging in the morning or evening. You may even want to invest in a home exercise bike or treadmill, which can burn up to 400 calories an hour.
If even that is hard to do regularly, then why not take up a sport as a family? Playing with your kids not only promotes family bonding, but gives everyone a chance to get healthy together. This also gives kids a chance to develop healthier habits and get used to an active lifestyle – they can’t just play video games or read comic books the whole day!
MAKE SMARTER FOOD CHOICES!
If you want to lose weight, you need to consume less calories than you burn. So even if you got all sweaty and tired from scrubbing the kitchen floors, you will negate your effort if you overeat.
One of the advantages that moms and housewives have is that you’re in charge of the kitchen and can make better, smarter and more nutritious food choices. Look for recipes that are low in simple carbohydrates but still are rich in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Track your calorie intake with an app – it’s easy to lose track of what you’re eating and nibbling on when the refrigerator is just a few steps away.
With housework, moderate exercise in the form of convenient home workouts and family activities, and more conscious eating habits, even busy moms and housewives can lose weight and stick to a healthy diet. Here’s to a slimmer, healthier and more energetic you!