When it comes to doing exercise, we’re advised to do 150 minutes a week to stay healthy, give or take. The problem is that we all find it difficult to find the time in a day to do it. Harder still, is finding something you enjoy doing. What if we told you that you could just tweak what you’re already doing? Housework is generally hard work and requires a lot of energy as it is. Why not turn that housework into exercise?


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Is Housework Good Exercise?

Most research into housework as exercise shows that, generally, it doesn't count. The problem that we have is why shouldn't it? As long as you are breaking a sweat, you’re burning calories. Some research even shows that the type of exercise doesn’t matter, as long as you are exerting energy for 30 minutes or more.

With the right ideas and a little motivation too, that means that housework can be turned into exercise quite easily. What’s even better is that it’s without taking a lot of time out of the day, or getting in the way of daily routines either.

Ways to Change Housework into Exercise

The good news is that turning housework into exercise is pretty easy, really. Take a look at the chores you do regularly in a week. Give it some thought, just for a minute. Consider any jobs you think could be done more often, and then, how to turn them into your weekly workout.

We have some great ideas to get you started.

1.      Doing Laundry

Person doing laundry

Think about where you leave your dirty clothes during the week. One way to get more exercise from your housework is to move your wash basket up or down the stairs (whichever means more work). Then when you have to do the washing, using the stairs becomes part of your workout! That does massive wonders for your health just as it is! It's like step aerobics only from home

Not enough for you? Make your own HIIPA HIIT workout instead! You can even split it, so you have to make multiple trips, and burn calories running up and down the stairs without having to take time out of your day. Doing this once or twice a week can burn a tonne of calories and really focuses on the muscles in your hips and thighs. And using the stairs applies to any kind of housework, too. Running up the stairs instead of walking can make a real difference.

Bonus

If you put the washing out on a washing line, this too can turn your housework into exercise. Put the basket with your laundry in on the floor in front of you and turn putting your washing on the line into squats, or even squat jumps! Like the stairs, this focuses the exercise on your thighs and hips and done regularly can help tone up muscles and burn calories. It really is a great way to make the most of your time and effort.

2.      Vacuuming

Person doing housework with a vacuum cleaner

Vacuuming is a perfect example of housework that needs to be done regularly. In this case, plug your headphones in and turn your vacuuming into a dance workout. Having music on encourages extra movement and enjoyment, and that's always a recipe for a fun mini-workout.

You can make it even more efficient and split the hoovering up so it can get done over the course of a week, one or two rooms at a time as well. Even swapping arms regularly during this gives your arms an equal workout. It's not just your lower body that can benefit here. While hoovering, you can even do lunges to help exercise your leg muscles and push yourself a little harder.

3.      Gardening

Person gardening

Gardening is probably one of the more popular forms of housework, and it already classes as moderate exercise. Working in the garden is one of the easiest ways to use most of your muscles (arms, legs, shoulders, abdomen) and burn calories, whilst also doing something productive.

Weeding, planting and even mowing the lawn can burn as many calories as regular exercise. If you’re a regular gardener or have never even planted anything, get yourself out into your garden and get to work. It might be exercise, but at least you get something out of it!

So, take a look at the housework you do in a day, or even a week, and see if you can turn it into something regular. All of these are great examples of inventive ideas to help your fitness and your schedule, and then you’ve got yourself a clean house and a good workout in one go.

This applies to anything you do around the house, not just when you are being productive. There is always some way to turn your housework into exercise. You just need to know where to look. Build it into a habit, and you're set some great exercise every single week.


man doing lunges

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.