7 Daily Chores That Burn as Many Calories as an Average Workout

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “Phew! That was a workout!” after doing something as simple as unloading the car after a weeklong vacation or catching up on that overwhelming pile of laundry?

That’s likely because it was a workout. Surprisingly, some household chores can burn up to 50,000 calories every month! 

According to MayoClinic.com, a person weighing 160 pounds can burn 292 calories in an hour riding a bike at a moderate pace. However, there are several chores you can complete around the house in an hour that burn just as many calories (if not more).

What’s the Daily Exercise Recommendation?

The MayoClinic.com recommends about 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity. However, this activity doesn’t have to be completed all at once. A great way to get in this aerobic activity is by breaking it up into short 10-minute intervals. These intervals are great for completing chores, as you likely spend about 10 minutes doing the dishes, vacuuming, or scrubbing the bathroom.

Burning calories not only helps you stay fit, healthy, and active, it’s also a great way to be productive and can even improve flexibility and stamina. Keep in mind that for every pound you want to lose, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you ingest.

Looking for healthy food ideas? Check out our blog for Immune-Boosting Seasonal Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet.

Which Daily Chores Burn the Most Calories?

We all know the best way to accomplish your weight loss goal is exercise daily and eat healthy. However, not everyone has access to a fully equipped gym, especially during quarantine. Luckily, household chores can offer a nice substitute.

Here are 7 everyday chores that have proven to burn as many calories as a low-intensity workout:

1. Sweeping and Mopping

Want to be productive and burn calories at the same time? Try sweeping all of your hard floors, followed by mopping. In a 60-minute timespan, sweeping or mopping burns about 240 calories. If you add in a few lunges in between sweeps, you’ve got yourself a fantastic workout that burns just as much as a low-intensity workout.

2. Vacuuming

Similar to sweeping and mopping, vacuuming is a great way to tone your arms and shoulder muscles. For example, a person who vacuums for one hour can burn up to 266 calories. If you add in a few squats in between vacuuming rooms, you can easily exceed the average calories burned in a low-intensity workout.

3. Decluttering or Moving

Have you heard of the Marie Kondo method? If you haven’t, you’ll likely want to start once you discover the number of calories you can burn in the process. Whether you are cleaning out the attic, decluttering your home, or organizing a messy closet, you can stay fit and active in the process.

Moving around some lighter objects like winter coats and sweaters can burn about 85 calories in 30 minutes.  If you add in a couple of trips up and down the stairs or lifting heavy objects, decluttering easily turns into a great workout. In fact, you could burn another 100 calories in just 15 minutes by moving heavier objects and boxes.

4. Doing the Laundry

Got a pile of laundry calling your name? After loading clothes into the washer, unloading it and tossing them into the dryer, unloading it again, folding the laundry or ironing, then putting them away, you might be sweating at that point. The good news is that you have completed a workout, and you’ve caught your household up on laundry.

This entire process can burn a whopping 700 calories every week, and that’s if you have a small- or medium-size household; the more laundry you have, the more you will burn.

5. Painting and Redecorating

Have you been postponing some redecorating in your house? You can burn 290 calories per hour just by painting an average-sized room. Typical remodeling tasks around the house can also burn about 167 calories in 30 minutes.

6. Scrubbing the Bathtub

Have you cleaned your bathroom recently? One particularly great arm workout is scrubbing bathtubs, showers, sinks, and tile. Hand-scrubbing one bathtub in 15 minutes can burn more than 90 calories.

Before you start scrubbing, check out our blog for cleaning products you can make at home.

7. Landscaping

From mowing the grass to weeding and gardening, you can create an excellent workout for yourself. For example, mowing the lawn with a self-propelled mower can burn about 325 calories per hour or 420 calories if using a manual push mower. Gardening, weeding, and tending vegetables can burn anywhere from 250 to 360 calories per hour.

Ready to start burning calories? Download a free copy of our Household Chore List for a calendar of chores you can do and how many calories each will burn.

ER Near MeHousehold Chores List