|Painting by my talented daughter. Her expression captures how I feel about housework.|
I will write this out, and then perhaps add photos later. (OK I updated at 3:37 p.m. Enjoy.) Artsy photos showing housework chores. Whoa - Museum of Modern Art here I come!
Here's what I found from livestrong.com when it comes to making housework a workout (Note: all catty comments are mine, naturally.)
First, and foremost, "Consult your doctor before doing any vigorous housework if you have health problems."
(I almost felt like leaving the "if" part out...)
Floor Mopping - Is good for strengthening those biceps and shoulders! Apparently one half hour of floor mopping burns 112 calories. And if, say, you are lucky enough to have a reason to get down on your hands and knees to scrub said floor (for example, if your cat took yet another dump on it instead of using the litter box, which - oops! - nobody bothered to clean out the other day, and all cat owners know cats are very tidy creatures who will not use a dirty litter box. Or they're just territorial bitches. I digress.) then you will burn 200 calories.
Yard Work - It's beginning to look more like spring in Simcoe County and soon we'll all be frantically raking, mowing, planting and beautifying our outdoor spaces so that we have something pretty to look at while we breathe in that wonderful fresh air. While we take a few deep cleansing breaths we can also burn a few calories, about 256 per hour, while exercising our arms, legs and back with raking. Mowing the lawn also works the shoulders, arms, core and legs and burns about 160 calories in half an hour. (That's the push mower dear, not the riding mower. Sorry.)
Vacuuming the Carpet - In order to get an even arm workout (so you don't start vacuuming in circles, I guess), livestrong suggests switching from one hand to the other mid-way through the job. To add an ab workout make sure to vacuum with good posture. The whole process burns about 90 calories in half an hour.
Dish Washing - Those without a dishwasher rejoice! Hand washing burns more calories. In half an hour you can burn about 160 calories, whereas loading a dishwasher burns a mere 105. In defence of dishwasher owners, however, I would think lifting and manoeuvring heavy pots and pans or cups and glasses around for several minutes in said dishwasher in order to find the optimum spot for them to be washed well, should count for something, as should hand washing said pots and pans after dishwasher does a crappy job at washing them in the first place. Must bring the calorie count close to 200.
Another piece of advice from livestrong is to wear an apron and keep the pockets filled with all of your cleaning supplies so you don't need to stop your housework workout to go and get the Pledge or the environmentally friendly cleaning spray you are using, hence reducing the effectiveness of the workout.
Of Special Note: I had to look up "Calories Burned Moving Furniture" because my mom, bless her soul, not only kept our house neat as a pin when I was growing up, but always liked to try different furniture arrangements and she often would move heavy pieces of furniture all by herself. She was always very slim, and now I know part of the reason: She burned about 300 calories per hour moving furniture.
And finally, here are some estimates, from the livestrong article, about calories burned according to weight:
"Heavy cleaning burns 135 calories in half an hour if you weigh 125 pounds. If you weigh 155 pounds you burn 167 and if you weigh 185 you burn 200, according to the Harvard Medical School."
According to "Caloriecounter.About.Com" heavy/major cleaning includes car washing, window washing and garage cleaning "with vigorous effort." They suggest a 150lb person will burn 204 calories per hour doing any of those kinds of activities. In an accompanying chart, they offer the kinds of foods with the equivalent calories. Naturally, the one that caught my eye was wine. So, note to self (and wine lovers everywhere), to burn off 2.6 glasses (a glass = 3.5 fl.oz) of wine you just need to vigorously clean something for an hour. I'll remember that next time I am vigorously scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees: "Out damned spot! Out! My wine is awaiting!. Then again, running for an hour burns, what, about 500 - 600 or more calories depending on your weight. How many glasses of wine is that...(Getting off-topic now. Gotta go clean the kitchen.)
(Don't worry Coach Ann, I would never replace housework with your dynamic circuit conditioning class. Although you could always get us to scrub the gym floor while we are planking sideways across it...)