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Guest author Steven Madison: Great Housework Workouts

Great Housework Workouts: Take care of the chores while you take care of your body

Who said that housework had to be boring and dull? Why not kill two birds with one stone and make your chores something doubly useful and something to look forward to? There are opportunities for exercise everywhere if you look right, but with chores they’re easier to find than anywhere else; the best part of household exercise? It’s gonna cost you nothing and requires pretty much no fancy equipment except maybe a decent set of gym clothes or trainers.

Let’s look at some calorie burning housework workouts you can try from the comfort of your own home while working away at the daily chores.

The Right Clothes

This is your first step; getting yourself some decent exercise clothes for maximum comfort. If you’re going to take your chores to the next level, a pair of jeans and a button up shirt won’t do the trick. Instead, dress as if you were going to the gym: training pants, a snug t shirt or tank top and some sneakers.

Regular Chores

Just doing the regular work with certain chores will burn a heavy amount of calories. With these activities you don’t even need to add in any special moves or exercise routines


A daily dose of gardening, especially if it includes lifting and moving heavier objects like plant pots, soil and tools, can burn an incredible amount of calories. It’s estimated that a 30 minute gardening session will take at least 236 calories off your back; this is comparable to a half hour session of competitive basketball.

Cleaning Gutters and Windows

Another heavy duty chore that doesn’t need any additional modification. Climb up a ladder, clean some gutters and scrub down the windows both inside and out while you’re at it. With these two activities you’ll be burning anywhere from 177 to 200 calroeis per helf hour of activity. This is a better calorie burn than what you’d get with fast dancing or aerobic weight lifting. Just like that.

Scrubbing Floors and Mopping

Floor scrubbing really gets the muscles moving; it’s a great workout for your arms, shoulders, chest and abdominal muscles. In addition to this, it will cause you to lose at least 165 calories every 30 minutes of constant moving.  Add in mopping and you get another 132 calories of fat burn every half hour. Not so bad at all when you consider that a session of Yoga only knocks off about 135 calories at a time.

Exercise Chores

Now let’s get into some regular chores that have been neatly modified for maximum workout power. Try these changes out every time you need to do these activities and you’ll notice the difference.

Dishwashing thigh Tone

While you’re standing there, burning calories with your dish work, add some extra effort by doing a thigh toning exercise. Lift one leg straight out sideways and slowly lower it again. Do this without leaning in the same direction and repeat it for 12 repetitions, then do likewise with

the other leg. Repeat for both legs for as long as you’re washing or as long as you can handle the strain.

Vacuum Lunges

These are going to make vacuuming the house take longer than normal, and you’ll probably look odd to any neighbors that happen to see you working, but the calorie burn is worth it. Instead of vacuuming like normal, turn it into a series of lunges and squats in which you hold for a moment at the bottom of each squat. Repeat the process for as long as you’re cleaning the floor.

Calf Exercises

These are great for any time you’re doing a chore that requires standing in the same place for a while. It’s real simple too: just lift your heels off the ground and stand on your tippy toes as much as possible for a few seconds before lowering your feet flat again. You can repeat it over and over again while you dust, wash dishes, scrub windows or do just about anything else around the house.

Backpacking Chores

This is another really simple but amazingly effective twist on every chore you do in a day, including the other exercise chores on this list. Instead of simply carrying your body weight and whatever house work tools you’ve got, also load up a small backpack with heavy but smooth objects like books or stacks of printer paper and maybe even a small rubber covered exercise weight or two. Now, with the extra 15 pounds on your back, get busy with gardening, climbing stairs, calf exercises and anything else. You’ll notice the difference. Just be careful not to hurt your back or neck as you move; make sure the backpack is snug on your back and doesn’t poke at your ribs or spine.

About the Author: As a personal trainer, Steven Madison’s fascination with the way the human body works has led him to study the heart via heart models. In addition to the tips above, Steven recommends everyone walk for at least 20 minutes a day.

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