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Making Household Chores 'Count' when Losing Weight

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Fitness
You are a busy mom, juggling numerous responsibilities such as housework, child-care, cooking, laundry and more. There is not a moment to spare. How on earth can you still squeeze a workout into your hectic day? Do not despair! Fortunately there is a way to make ordinary household chores count in the battle against the bulge.

Here are some fantastic ways to get lean as you clean:

1. If you live in a split-level house, take the stairs two at a time. This is a great way to get your heart pumping.

2. Divide the laundry into smaller piles when you are putting it away. In this way you will increase the number of trips you have to make to and fro and this will help to burn more calories.

3. Intersperse chores with some spot toning exercises. For example, iron for ten minutes, then do 20 abdominal crunches, iron for another ten minutes then do 20 lunges and so on.

4. Vacuum/mop/sweep to music that has a lively beat. Do the task vigorously and work up a sweat.

5. Walk as fast as you can to take out the garbage, clean the yard or bring in the groceries.

6. Use the shopping bags filled with heavy groceries as weights. Do bicep curls with them as you bring them into the house.

7. Use cans as light weights and do a few strength training exercises as you pack them away.

8. Wear a pedometer and make it your goal to take 10,000 steps daily.

9. Try to make the bed as fast as possible. Time yourself and try to get faster each time.

10. If a store is within walking distance walk there daily to purchase your essential daily items.

Let us take a look at just how many calories you can burn doing your routine housework. Listed below is the approximate number of calories burned per minute by middle-aged women who perform these activities. Calculate how long you do each task to determine the total number of calories you burn. If you want to pump up the intensity, throw in some jumping jacks, squats, lunges and abdominal crunches. Before you know it you will be getting lean as your house is getting clean.

Changing bed sheets: 4 calories a minute

Mop floor: 3.5-4 calories a minute

Wash floor on hands and knees: 4-4.5 calories a minute

Sweep floor: 3.5-4 calories a minute

Vacuum Carpet: 3.5-4 calories a minute

Ironing: 2.4 calories a minute

Carrying laundry basket up a flight of stairs: 3.7 calories a minute

Washing dishes: 2.3 calories a minute

Unpacking groceries: 3-3.5 calories a minute

You do not have any excuse for staying unfit a moment longer. Start getting lean as you clean!