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Keep tidy, keep fit with housework

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Whether housework is therapeutic or a chore, there’s little doubt it helps you keep a lithe figure, burning about 50,000 calories a year.Vacuum cleaners like the Ultraone and Ultraactive, pictured above, are useful for reaching hard to reach spots, assisting you with a more thorough clean – and then allowing you more time to lead an active lifestyle.

Getting on the weighing scale after the Christmas and New Year’s festivities is rarely a pretty experience. And for those who celebrate Chinese New Year, it seems things aren’t getting better anytime soon for your waistline.

You’ll still get the year to burn it all off, though. And it might be easier than you think. A British study found that homemakers can burn about 50,000 calories a year just by doing their regular chores. Another study also found that people spent about 3.5 hours a day on unpaid work such as cooking, gardening and cleaning, while Asian women spent 2.5 more hours on housework than men.

housework

Photo Credit: Hippygirl13

Their loss. As the list below shows, housework is a great way to burn calories. And all that polishing, dusting, mopping and sweeping are great for your arm muscles, while bending and stretching and reach tight spots are good for toning thighs and improving flexibility. If you live in a home with a staircase, that’s a great workout that burns a large number of calories too. The energy burn increases if you have a garden with plants that need mowing, trimming or weeding.

Type of housework Calories burned per hour
Doing laundry 146
Making the bed 136
Cooking 170
Washing the dishes 156
Ironing 113
Dusting 173
Sweeping 224
Vacuuming 238
Scrubbing the floors 258
Rearranging furniture 408
Washing windows 180
Washing the car 234
Gardening 287
Mowing the lawn 374
Raking 292
Walking up and down stairs 516

Calories burned may vary depending on your body size and weight. Calorie calculators at websites like http://www.caloriesperhour.com might help in giving more personalised calorie counts.

For those who want to maximise the calorie burn, here are some tips:

  • Clean more thoroughly. Appliances like the UltraOne vacuum are designed for superior handling, making it easier for you to move about the area. So no excuse to not try to reach a tight spot.

Ultraactive

  • Put on some music and turn up the volume. Adding an extra spring to your steps while cleaning burns more calories. Grab and go appliances like the Ergorapido make it easy for you to dance to your favourite tune while cleaning.
  • If you have the time, plan your route around the house to maximise moving about. The highest calorie-burner is stair climbing, so if you have a staircase, perhaps plan to start with vacuuming the living room downstairs before moving upstairs to the bedroom, doing laundry in the basement before making your bed to get maximum movement.
  • Make your meals from scratch. All the peeling, chopping and mixing needed to make a traditional Asian dish beats pouring ready-made sauces and ingredients in the calorie burn department.

If your New Year’s resolution was to lose weight, perhaps you can skip the gym membership – housework might do the job just as well, and you get a tidy home in the package, too.

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