Staying Home More? 10 Chores that Burn the Most Calories
Whether if it’s for health reasons, job flexibility, or seasonal weather, if you find yourself staying at home more, you might also be facing a new reality: Spending more time at home can make it more difficult to stay fit.
If you’re home more, you’re likely not going to the gym as much. Cooped up in your house, you’re probably less active. And the more time you spend at home, the more time you spend close to your refrigerator.
Don’t panic, however. You can get fit in and around your house. If you’re staying home more, here are the 10 chores that burn the most calories, according to a Harvard Medical School study.
- Shoveling snow (tie)
Of course, you have to live in the right climate in order to get a workout shoveling snow, but it’s definitely a calorie-burner. According to the Harvard study, a 125-pound to 185-pound individual will burn between 180 and 266 calories per hour.
- Chopping wood (tie)
If you have a fireplace or fire pit and chop your own wood, you could be in for quite a workout. Chopping wood burns as many calories as shoveling snow, 180 to 266 per hour depending on your weight. Both activities are equivalent to one hour of swimming at a moderate speed.
- Playing with your kids, vigorous effort
If you want a solid cardiovascular workout, spend some time playing with energetic children. Sports and other vigorous activities you participate in with your youngsters can burn between 150 and 222 calories per hour. And if you’re having fun, it’s not even a “chore,” is it?
- Exterior painting
Sprucing up your home’s exterior with a fresh coat of paint can also boost your body’s fitness level. Exterior painting can burn between 150 and 222 calories per hour.
- Heavy cleaning (tie)
Heavy indoor cleaning such as scrubbing floors, cleaning windows, vacuuming, or mopping all involve a good deal of movement and can be done with varying levels of intensity. Depending on your weight, you can burn between 135 and 200 calories per hour without leaving the house.
- Washing the car (tie)
Just as scrubbing bathrooms or cleaning windows gets your body moving at least at a moderate pace, so does washing your own car. Getting your ride nice and clean can burn between 135 and 200 calories an hour, the same as walking at a 15-minute mile pace for the same amount of time.
- Mowing the lawn (tie)
Cutting your grass with a walk-behind power mower will burn between 135 and 200 calories per hour, depending on your weight and the speed at which you’re moving. By comparison, walking your dog at a leisurely-to-moderate pace burns about 12 percent fewer calories in the same time frame.
- Raking leaves
If you’re paying someone else to rake leaves in your yard, you might be saving some free time, but you’re also missing out on a workout. Raking your yard burns between 120 and 178 calories per hour. That’s the equivalent of an hour of playing competitive volleyball.
- Regular child care
Every parent knows that having young children requires energy, so maybe it’s not surprising that kids help you burn calories. Just regular-day activities such as feeding, bathing, dressing, and picking up after children can burn between 105 and 155 calories per hour. That means if you’re a parent, you might already expending a thousand calories a week just taking care of them.
- Light repair work
The Harvard study estimates that light auto repair jobs or household fixes like plumbing or wiring can burn between 90 and 133 calories per hour. Going the fix-it-yourself route not only can save you money, but it can also help you stay in shape.
The bottom line
Millions of people belong to gyms across the world, but don’t panic if you can’t get to the gym as much. Some of the things you do regularly around the house can provide quite a workout, too.