Make Your Home a Calorie-Burning Haven
Our great-great-grandparents burned twice as many calories as we do—and they did it without a 30-minute workout and gym fees!
Researchers set up a historical village at a theme park north of Sydney, Australia, to simulate life as it was for early European settlers. Their results were astonishing: the settlers walked up to 10 miles more each day–and burned 2.3 times as many calories–as modern Australians who go to office jobs.[i]
So, how can you burn calories like an old-time settler? Do household chores! It’s an easy way to make movement a natural part of your life, and you’ll lose weight to boot! Here’s a guide to how many calories a 150-lb. person burns per hour in common household tasks:
Beautify your yard
Dump the riding lawnmower and push instead: 430 calories.
Rake the front yard: 285 calories
Pull some weeds: 320 calories
Trim the shrubs and hedges: 320 calories
Tend the garden: 285 calories
Get your house spic-and-span
Sweep the floor: 285 calories
Now, mop: 250 calories
Better yet, use some elbow grease and scrub!: 270 calories
Vacuum: 250 calories
General light cleaning: 241 calories
Heavy cleaning: 432
Makeover your home
Rearrange the living room (moving furniture): 500 calories
Paint the spare bedroom: 320 calories
Stay warm in winter
Chopping wood: 430
Ice scraping: 240
Shoveling snow: 430
Stacking wood: 360
Using a push snow blower: 320
Reward yourself with cookies
Bake using manual appliances: 145 calories
By spending just two hours working in your yard and two hours cleaning your home each week, you’ll burn approximately 1,150 extra calories per week.[iii] Keep that up all year, and you’ll lose 17 pounds–without dieting or going to the gym.
Plus, your house and yard will look amazing.
[ii] American Cancer Society calorie calculator based on data from the American Heart Association, Calorie Control Council, National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, http://www.cancer.org/healthy/toolsandcalculators/calculators/app/exercise-counts-calculator; Farmer’s Almanac guide to spring and winter chores, http://www.farmersalmanac.com/health/2010/12/06/get-fit-with-winter-chores-and-fun/; http://www.farmersalmanac.com/health/2010/04/05/get-in-shape-with-spring-chores/
[iii] Based on calories burned by a 150-lb. person during two hours of cleaning, at 250 calories per hour, and two hours of mixed yard work, at 350 calories per hour
October 1, 2011