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Clean Your House, Burn Calories


By: Karen Yontz Center Staff

It’s that time of year again—spring is just around the corner and we’re starting to crave cleanliness and order. We want to throw open the windows to let out the stale winter air and deep clean the nooks and crannies of our abode. The best part is that not only will a good deep clean get your home in shape, but it can also help you get in shape as well. After all, it is called housework. So let’s break it down—just how many calories will you burn* by making your place spic and span?

Let’s start with the basics—the first thing you’re going to do is dust all of your flat surfaces. A thorough dusting of every room in your house will help you burn 33 calories for every 10 minutes. You’re probably going to want to change the sheets on the beds which will mean 11 calories burned per 5 mins of making the bed. Bonus points if you take the time to flip and/or turn the mattress. Make sure you wash all of your dirty dishes—even loading and unloading the dishwasher will torch 52.5 calories in 15 minutes—and get all of your laundry done and put away (another 43 calories per 10 minutes. Add 39 calories for every 15 minutes of ironing you do too). If you’re feeling especially motivated, you can rearrange your closet which will help you purge about 85 calories (not to mention a few outfits that are past their prime).

Spring cleaning is the time to get rid of the remnants of winter’s salted sidewalks and gritty garage floors. Depending on the size of your home, a thorough vacuuming can burn about 119 calories in a half hour. And sweeping will burn 136 calories in the same amount of time. Don’t forget to scrub the salt off those kitchen floors as well—really scrubbing them (we’re talking on hands and knees with a brush, people) will burn about 187 calories in just 30 minutes. If it’s a nice spring day and you’re feeling really ambitious and want to get those windows cleaned to let in all of the spring sunshine, doing so will torch 167 calories in a half an hour.

Any time you clean, you are burning calories. Any time you are moving and burning calories, you are getting your heart pumping. Any time you get your heart pumping, you are improving your heart health. What better motivation to do some of those chores you just don’t want to do? Happy cleaning!

*All calorie estimates are based on a 150 lb. person


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