Turning Housework into Exercise: A Mom’s Way to a Healthier Life


exercise momsI’m a mom of three. I currently am attending college and working from home. You add that up with a house full of plants and a malamute and free time is not in abundance. However, not having time is not a valid excuse to not exercise, especially when three kids have left me with a pound or two I’d like to lose. Determined to fit everything in, I resulted to a slightly creative approach, I turned my housework into exercise.

How many calories does regular housework burn?

First it dawned on me that even just completing my regular household chores was burning calories, quite a few even. For example, while washing dishes, if you weigh around 120-150 pounds you’ll burn about 71 calories, vacuuming for half hour 423 calories, if you have stairs to clean add about 40 more to that. If it takes you 30 minutes to scrub the tubs, you just burned 200 calories. All the walking you do around the house adds up to, for every 15 minutes, you lose about 67 calories. A heavier individual will burn even more. Now, imagine if you upped the ante…

Turning Housework into exercise:

Fast walk everywhere: If walking burns 67 calories in 15 minutes, common sense says walking faster will burn even more, about 79 calories.

Make a one item rule: I started requiring I only carry one item at a time when I put things away. This meant more trips up the stairs and more walking. Since I was moving faster while doing so, the time evened out.

Doubling stair trips: If I wasn’t putting something away, I required myself to go up and down the stairs five times every time I took my stairs. My office with my computer is downstairs so this quickly added up considering one trip up and down a short flight of stairs burns around 50 calories.

Pick up squats: Toddlers mean lots of toys, and lots of toys means lots of stuff on the floor. Each time I pick up something on the floor I do a squat or two. You can also be careful to maintain proper form when picking up things and reaching for high shelves.

No wasted moments: I sneak more movement into everything I do. Sometimes I do calf raises while washing dishes, or high step rather than fast walk while cleaning. You could even add ankle weights to your everyday routine.

Playing with the kids: Finally, when you’re done cleaning and it’s time for kid time, don’t sit back and watch. Jump in and dance, run, even laugh, all of the above burn calories. Exercise is simple when you realize you don’t need a set work-out time, just a little extra movement each day.

You may also enjoy:
4 Diet Tips for Moms
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