The easy cleaning tweaks that can help you burn 550 calories with little extra effort | The Sun

FITTING in both a workout and cleaning the house isn't always possible, or very desirable.

But there are ways to get both jobs done at the same time.

Scientists refer to exercise like this as NEAT, which stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

Chasing your kids around the playground or taking the stairs instead of the lift are ways you could already be incorporating this form of movement in your day-to-day life.

Tidying your home can be a very effective NEAT session – if done right.

Personal trainer Stephanie Thomas, from Maryland, US, explains why a top-to-bottom house clean can be so demanding on the body.

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“The repetitive motion really adds up,” she told The Washington Post.

Everything from changing the bedsheets to scrubbing the toilet bowl burns calories and works muscles.

How to burn 550 calories in one cleaning session

There are, however, some simple ways to ramp up the intensity of your typical house sweep.

You can add exercises like lunges and squats to your cleaning routine.

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Or, you can be more deliberate about the way you tackle chores and put more physical effort into them. 

Professor Duston Morris of health promotion from Maryland University, US, said when it comes to exercise, in any form, frequency is key.

He advises doing at least 20-30 minutes of house cleaning each day.

Changing up what tasks you do is also important so use as many muscles as possible.

Dusting – 80cals

PT Stephanie said dusting can be really good for shoulders and arms, especially when reaching up high.

She suggests (carefully) adding standing side leg lifts while you’re tackling higher-up shelves, turning dusting into a full-body activity.

This movement involves pushing one leg away from you to the side. It helps build your glutes and improve balance.

Done for half an hour, dusting can burn 80 calories for an average 175-pound person.

Bathroom – 125cals

Most people will agree that getting on your hands and knees to clean the bathroom is probably one of the worst chores imaginable.

The dirt in this room is often the hardest to get off and finds itself living in the most awkward places to reach, like the bathtub, or round the back of the loo.

The good news is that all those movements mean you’re hitting lots of muscle groups by engaging lots of body parts.

Done for half an hour, scrubbing the bathroom can burn 125 calories for an average 175-pound person.

Stephanie suggests bringing your legs into the equation while getting a streak-free mirror, with standing calf raises and squats.

Kitchen – 165cals

You’ll be targeting similar muscle groups in the kitchen as you did in the bathroom.

From cleaning the sink to clearing out old spices from the back of cupboards, it's likely you'll be working from all levels.

Done for half an hour, this can burn 80 calories for an average 175-pound person.

If you're also putting away food shopping, you can expect to burn 85 calories on top of that.

Stephanie suggests getting in some standing calf raises, squats, and lunges while moving around the space.

Try doing some incline pushups against your kitchen countertop – these are push-ups done against an elevated surface.

Done for half an hour, this can burn 80 calories for an average 175-pound person.

Laundry – 100cals

Washing everyone's dirty clothes is never fun.

But you can rest easy knowing you're burning some calories while doing it.

In fact, you can burn anywhere between 50 and 100 calories while

doing things like loading and unloading the washer and dryer, putting stuff away, and carrying loads around the house.

If you're feeling super energetic, you can try doing some pushups (or modified pushups) while folding the clothes, the PT said.

This involves lying on the floor, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders, and pushing up.

When doing modified pushups, you can push up from your knees rather than your toes. 

Be sure to keep the knees, hips, and shoulders all in a straight line. Do not allow yourself to bend at the hips.

Try adding five pushups between every five pieces of folded clothing.

Floor – 80cals

Cleaning the floors can be a good workout for your core muscles, shoulders, and arms, Stephanie said.

Dusting for half an hour can burn up to 80 calories.

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Professor Duston suggests switching up the hand position on the vacuum or on a mop or broom will mean you target different muscle groups.

Deliberately moving around larger items to clean beneath them, not around them, is also very good for the biceps, triceps, chest, back, and core.

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