While they aren’t a replacement for regular exercise, household chores can help you avoid ill effects of sedentary lifestyle and even aid in weight loss. Some are considered light to moderate, while others can provide full workout. In modern times, washing machines, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners have made life easier for people, but it also means lesser opportunities to burn calories. However, they can be a convenient way to move the body amid the heatwave conditions across many parts of the country. (Also read | Fat-burning workouts for summer: 5 fun-filled exercises to shed extra flab in hot weather)

Engaging in physical activity promotes improved circulation and regulates metabolism, which is essential for overall health.(Freepik)

Short bouts of activities can work wonders for your fitness levels. Doing household chores like dusting, walking the dog, preparing meals etc can also make sure you are not sitting continuously and moving your body more frequently. So when it comes to washing clothes or cleaning bathrooms, try doing these chores by yourself to see the difference in your fitness levels.

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“Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial to avoiding diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. Engaging in physical activity promotes improved circulation and regulates metabolism, which is essential for overall health. While going to the gym or playing sports are popular options, everyday household chores can help you stay fit and reduce fat,” says Shlloka Joshi- Classical Hatha Yoga Teacher & Lifestyle Expert in an interview with HT Digital.

Household chores to help burn calories

Joshi shares some common household chores that can help burn calories:

1. Vacuuming: Pushing and pulling a vacuum cleaner can burn 150-300 calories per hour, depending on body weight and intensity.

2. Mopping/scrubbing floors: This activity engages your core muscles and can burn 150-250 calories per hour.

3. Washing windows: The reaching, stretching, and wiping motions use several muscle groups, burning 100-200 calories per hour.

4. Gardening/yard work: Activities like raking leaves, pulling weeds, and pushing a lawn mower can burn 200-400 calories per hour. Being in touch with the earth while gardening has additional benefits. If your hands and bare feet are in contact with the earth, it can harmonise physiological processes in your body, aiding in weight management and stabilising your mood.

5. Washing and drying clothes: Bending, lifting, and moving around while doing laundry can burn 100-200 calories per hour.

6. Cleaning bathrooms: Scrubbing, wiping, and disinfecting bathrooms provide a full-body workout, burning 150-300 calories per hour.

7. Dusting and organising: Light cleaning tasks like dusting and decluttering can burn 100-200 calories per hour.

These activities fall under NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), which refers to the calories burned through everyday movements and activities outside of planned exercise.

Incorporating more household chores into your routine can increase your NEAT, leading to a higher overall daily calorie burn.

Benefits of household chores for weight management

Shlloka Joshi explains the many benefits of doing household chores for weight management and overall well-being.

1. Calorie burn: Many household tasks, such as vacuuming, mopping, gardening, and scrubbing, burn a significant number of calories, contributing to a healthy energy balance for weight loss or maintenance.

2. Strength building: Chores that involve lifting, pushing, or carrying heavy objects help build and maintain muscle mass. Increased muscle mass boosts your resting metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories even at rest.

3. Incidental exercise: Household tasks often require movement around the house, climbing stairs, and various other activities. These incidental exercises throughout the day contribute to an active lifestyle and overall fitness.

4. Mindfulness: Focusing on the task at hand and being present during chores can reduce mindless snacking or overeating that often occurs when bored or distracted.

5. Stress relief: Completing household tasks provides a sense of accomplishment and reduces stress, which is important for weight management, as chronic stress can lead to unhealthy coping behaviours.

Tips to maximise the benefits:

  • Perform tasks at a brisk, challenging pace.
  • Incorporate strength-building movements.
  • Use chores as breaks from sedentary activities.
  • Consistency is key. Aim to incorporate household chores into your daily routine as part of a balanced, sustainable approach to weight management