We’ve all heard that the secret to a healthy and happy life is to consume less than we burn and move more to expend additional energy. Combining a healthy diet with exercise is the recipe for keeping good health up and weight gain down.

Not one for the gym? Never fear! Because incorporating a fitness routine into your daily routine isn’t that difficult and, as a well-known supermarket likes to say, every little helps!

Does doing housework burn calories?

Yes! In fact, everything you do burns calories. Even when at rest, simply breathing and keeping our body going burns calories, which is measured by our basal metabolic rate. This is the rate by which our bodies expend energy whilst at rest in order to accomplish even its most basic of functions. Every movement we make expends energy. And this includes housework!

How many calories does doing housework burn?

The amount of energy (calories) your body will burn depends on many factors including your weight and the intensity of the activity itself. The more intense the activity, the harder your body will have to work and the more energy it will burn.

This infographic shows you how many calories a 175 lb person can expect to burn for a selection of activities:

housework burn calories infographic

As you can see, easier activities such as light dusting result in a lower calorie burn than the more energetic activities such as mowing the lawn or gardening.

How can I burn even more calories while doing housework?

There are a number of things you can do to burn more calories while doing housework. The bottom line is to make it more energetic, so here are some suggestions:

Turn up the music!

Music has a significant influence on our moods and it has been proven to positively affect mental health and physical performance. Put on your favourite tunes, don your pinny and get dancing with the duster!

Engage your core muscles

You might have heard the instruction to ‘engage your core’ during exercise, but you might not be familiar with what it actually means. A strong core lessens the risk of injury occurring, balances out your movements and strengthens the support of your spine during all activities, so ensuring it is engaged is actually very important. An easy way to engage your core is to imagine that you are bracing yourself to be hit in the stomach! It’s the feeling you get when you cough or laugh, so that’s the feeling you’re looking to experience and hold onto whilst doing any activity.

Add extra movements

Exaggerate movements as you do the housework. Use long, sweeping motions when dusting. Reach and stretch (without over-reaching or over-stretching!) and feel your body work! Add some lunges while you vacuum, some squats as you move around from room to room, and some high-knee movements to get that heart rate really pumping!

Wear ankle and wrist weights

Increase the resistance and add some strength training to your workout by wearing some wrist or ankle weights. Even the lightest addition in weight can help to increase your overall workout. Strength training is great for increasing your bone density and warding off conditions such as osteoarthritis, so add a little resistance whenever you can.

Use both sides of your body

Finally, make sure you use both the dominant and non-dominant sides of your body equally, ensuring both sides get an equal workout!

If, after all this, you’ve decided to up your exercise game altogether and increase your overall activity, then good for you, but do remember to seek the advice of your GP or a registered health practitioner before embarking on a new exercise programme.

The Kent Gurkha Company Ltd provides a range of professional, commercial cleaning services to schools, offices and commercial properties in Kent. For a tailored quote for your company’s needs, please contact us at info@kentgurkha.co.uk or by phone on 01622 752 192 today.