Spring cleaning: Dust-bust and gut-bust at the same time

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. 

By Cathleen Kronemer

The days are getting longer, the sun feels warmer on our skin, and the Cardinals have returned to Busch Stadium.  That can only signal one thing:  the long-awaited arrival of spring!  Among the many traditions associated with this time of year, for many of us “spring cleaning” tops the list.  While this may seem like a daunting yearly undertaking, perhaps we can turn it around in our minds and make this chore a winter-weight-burning workout!

Researchers have analyzed some of the more common household duties associated with typical spring cleaning and have revealed just how much “work” is going into the cleansing of our homes in preparation for the warm weather.  Below is a compilation of the number of calories that we can expect to burn while tidying up:

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Mopping the floor can offer up a burn of 153 calories per hour. If we add significant scrubbing of stubborn stains, we can expect to rid ourselves of an additional 187 calories in a mere half-hour! If your home boasts more carpeting than hardwood flooring, a tour of the living room toting and pushing the vacuum can burn up to 119 calories in 30 minutes. And making those windows shine, both inside and out, can knock out another 167 calories per half hour of effort!

If you have decided that this is the year to rearrange and redecorate the den, more than just your wallet will be lightened! Painting an average-sized room utilizes 167 calories per half-hour, and moving furniture becomes a very dynamic exercise when you consider that it burns 100 calories for a mere 15 minutes of work.  If the downstairs furniture needs to be moved upstairs, the burn becomes even more significant!

For all those fastidious individuals who view springtime as a perfect opportunity to reorganize closets with seasonal clothing, you may soon need to buy a smaller size: 85 calories can be burned just by packing away the winter sweaters while refreshing and restocking your dresser drawers.

Spring cleaning often has a way of migrating to the outdoor of our homes as well.  Sweeping out the garage can use up 136 calories every half hour.  While you are out there, go ahead and give your car a good washing to rid it of residual road salt: you will be rewarded with a burn of 153 calories!

Now that your home is sparkling clean and ready for spring, congratulate yourself on a job well done…and skip the gym that day, because you have already worked very hard!