How housework can give you a fitness fix

Ever wonder why you spend both money and time burning off precious energy in the gym, only to then come home to a house full of chores? Instead of draining yourself on a running machine, throw yourself into the cleaning with a little more gusto to achieve a great workout, whilst getting pesky jobs out of the way.

Vacuuming

Vacuuming at a normal rate could burn around 220 calories per hour. Whilst this is only half the calories of an hour of dancing or jogging, if you stick on your favourite tune and address the task with a little more enthusiasm, you can give yourself a workout whilst ensuring your carpets are spick and span! Vacuuming tones the arms - especially if you swap from time to time - and walking with your machine gives legs a gentle workout.

Ironing and hanging clothes

Admit it; we all have a pile of ironing in the corner, just looking at us. But did you know that an hour of ironing could burn around 150 calories? To give your arms an even toning, try swapping the iron to your non-dominant hand from time to time, or carry piles of washing up the stairs in between bouts.

Gardening

Are your weeds getting you down? Why not throw on your workout kit and hit the garden? Gardening tasks such as weeding can burn around 290 calories an hour, and if you vary your activity from lawn mowing to digging flowerbeds, you can work both arm and leg muscles effectively.

Washing dishes

Whilst many of us rely on dishwashers, tackling your dirty dishes the old-fashioned way can burn about 160 calories an hour, and give 'bingo wings' a blast at the same time. Stick on the radio, listen to a favourite programme and get those dishes washed and dried! Bending and stretching to put items away in different cupboards will also enable you to work your legs and waist - try putting each item away individually to maximise that burn!

Hit the stairs for an additional boost

When it comes to our homes, few things can beat the workout we get from walking up and down the stairs. If we were to carry out this activity for an hour, it could burn a whopping 520 calories. Go against your instinct to be organised, and take each item up the stairs one at a time when clearing up. This will both address the piles of laundry that grace your staircase, and get your thighs and bottom toned!

Not convinced? Add in the feel-good factor

Carrying out housework can be mentally therapeutic, and living in a clean, uncluttered home has been shown to reduce stress.

Rather than drive to the gym for an hour lifting weights, why not hit the housework for a morning and get the most out of your energy expenditure!