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May 13, 2016
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Get Shredded!

Your Spring Cleaning Home Workout Plan​

After a long winter spent inside, the good news is plenty of common household tasks actually have a lot of potential to help improve our health and fitness by burning calories, building muscle and improving flexibility.

Plus, keeping active — even if it's just by doing more around the house — has been proven to improve mental health, reducing stress, anxiety and depression and ensuring we feel positive and energetic.

As spring cleaning season gets underway, here are a few ways you can add more exercise to your daily routine. The secret? Good old-fashioned ‘elbow grease’!

How to workout at home without equipment or weights during lockdown​

Before we get into the heavy lifting, here’s some food for thought. How many calories have we been burning the past year while doing our usual lockdown activities?

Watching Netflix: Sitting down watching TV usually burns less than 30 calories an hour — you actually burn more calories per hour of sleep. However, watching something that gets your adrenaline pumping raises the number significantly. Studies show that watching a 90-minute horror or thriller movie burns an average of 113 calories — roughly the same as a 30-minute walk!

Gaming: Sitting in front of a screen playing a console or PC game will burn roughly 70 calories an hour. That number shoots up to between 160 and 170 an hour for those playing active games (e.g. Wii Fit), depending on the level of activity involved.

Picking up an Amazon parcel: Moving and carrying boxes can burn up to 7 calories a minute, and 30 minutes of unpacking boxes can burn over 100. Who says online shopping isn’t beneficial to your health and fitness?

Working from home: Working online is one of the more sedentary activities on the list, but typing on your laptop burns more energy than you might think. Half an hour of typing can burn between 41 and 61 calories.

Napping: No need to feel guilty about those afternoon naps — the average person burns an estimated 68 to 91 calories per hour of sleep. Getting frisky: You and your partner can be the best kind of workout buddies. Enthusiastic kissing can burn up to a whopping 470 calories an hour, speeding up your heart rate and your respiration.

Baking bread: It was everyone’s favourite hobby in 2020, and there are plenty of good reasons to keep making that oven-fresh sourdough. Studies show that kneading dough and baking bread are good stress relievers and help to combat boredom. Kneading also helps keep you fit and active by building upper body strength – and an hour of kneading can burn about 100 calories!

The Best Spring Cleaning Exercises​

Here are a few of the best cleaning tasks for building muscle and burning calories. (These numbers are based on a 140-150lb body weight and 30 minutes of activity.)


Housework helps to exercise the major muscle groups, working out your arms, shoulders and back, legs and core. Here are some additional tips to make the most of your movement and get a great workout at home, without equipment or weights, simply by doing your daily chores:

  • Keep your core (abs) engaged and tight while you work.
  • Focus on keeping a good posture and avoid slouching.
  • Use your legs when you vacuum, mop or sweep to take the strain off your shoulders and upper back.
  • Place your hand at the top of the handle when you’re mopping to keep your back straight.
  • Make sure the broom, vacuum and mop you use at home extend to suit your height, which is better for your back.
  • To pick something up, like a box or a basket of laundry, bend your knees and squat down instead of bending over. Not only is this a good workout, but it’s also better for your back.
  • When cleaning a toilet or a low area, squat or kneel instead of bending over.
  • Stretch extra-high to get into corners overhead, or get down on your hands and knees for low-lying clutter and grime.
  • Make large up-and-down movements (e.g. clean windows and shower doors with big, consistent circles.
Note: The calories you burn while doing a certain activity will depend on factors like your gender, bodyweight, metabolic rate and the type of activity you’re doing. The estimates below are approximate average values. You can use an online calorie calculator to figure out your individual calories burned.

Your Spring Workout Plan​

Here’s an example of how just one hour of housework can workout your whole body while getting plenty of cleaning done around the house too:

  • 20 mins brisk mopping or vacuuming, switching arms every 5 minutes: 82 calories
  • 20 mins cleaning countertops, mirrors and shower doors, using large circles: 53 calories
  • 20 mins picking up clutter, squatting to pick up each item: 140 calories
Total calories burned (based on a 140-150lb body weight): 275

Get creative and switch up your housework rota to make sure you get a good workout most days of the week. Be sure to include gardening when the weather is good, to include some fresh air and sunshine in your routine.