Cuttin’ Grass, Cuttin’ Calories

It’s not a secret to anyone that knows me, that I am without a doubt, a CLEAN FREAK! I like things orderly…everything has a place, and there’s a place for everything in our home. Now, I am not without my messy little secrets…do NOT open my closet doors…it’s where things go to disappear into oblivion! BUT my house, for all intents and purposes, is normally pretty straightened, and honestly, I can’t function if it’s not.

I have a love-hate relationship with housework. I loathe cleaning day, but I love the smell of my cleaners (some organic, some not) and the look of a freshly vacuumed carpet…am I right?! I breathe in the crisp cleaned air and walk gingerly with my toes in the freshly tousled rugs until my husband comes home or my boys wake up from their nap…and then it’s back to toys thrown everywhere, shoes tossed haphazardly across the rugs, and remnants of snacks left on the counter and kitchen floor. As is life!

BUT on cleaning day, I do NOT normally make it to my workout class…because honestly, I am exhausted afterwards! Last week, I scrubbed the house, mowed the yard, pulled the weeds, sheered the bushes, washed all the laundry, and then collapsed on the rug in the living room when I was finished. I laid there looking up at the ceiling fan, and as the cold air lightly blew my messy hair off my sweaty face, I thought to myself…”How many calories did I just burn?”

I did some research and found out that housework is no joke folks! Although it’s not an adequate weight-loss program, it is indeed a good excuse to take the day off of your rigorous workout schedule…especially the yard work! Yard work is not just good for your waste line, but also for your mind. Research has found that there is something zen-like about pushing a mower and working with plants and trees…and I have come to love it!

Brian isn’t so happy about my new found love for yard work. This was the one chore that he actually liked to do, so for the past few weeks, we have been racing each other out to the garage to get to the mower first. Sometimes, he will slyly slip out of the house and say he is “going to work in the garage,” and then I hear the lawn mower start up! To play a joke on Brian…I even sent a text message to his friends who live in our neighborhood, the day that I cut the grass, and asked them to text Brian about how awesome the yard looked that day. After he received the first text, I found him outside staring at the lawn. Brian is as serious about his yard as I am about a clean house! We all got a good laugh to say the least!

SO here goes…a calorie breakdown of those oh so lovely housework chores:

  • Mopping: 1 hr = 150 calories
  • Washing Floors: 30 min = 180 calories
  • Scrubbing the Tub/Shower: 15 min = 90 calories (And a good arm workout!)
  • Vacuuming: 30 min = 120 calories
  • Folding and Putting Laundry Away: 40 calories
  • Washing the Car: 150 calories
  • Cleaning the Windows: 30 min = 160 calories
  • Painting the Walls: 30 min = 160 calories
  • Moving Furniture/Redecorating: 15 min = 100 calories
  • Mowing the Lawn: 1 hr = 250-350 calories
  • Shoveling Snow: 1 hr = 400-600 calories
  • Landscaping (laying rock, mulching, sodding, etc.): 1 hr = 400-600 calories
  • Raking and Bagging Leaves: 1 hr = 350-450 calories
  • Gardening (pulling weeds, planting flowers): 1 hr = 200-400 calories

I hope that all of my fellow ladies, mommas, wifeys, and leisurelings find this information helpful!

Even though most of us don’t look forward to doing housework, it helps a little to know we are burning some calories, right?! Maybe you didn’t make it to the gym or get to complete your daily workout, because life’s other “to do” lists got in the way today! Never fear…if you did any of the above…you can rest a little easier knowing that you were, in fact, not only productive around the house, but you also burned some calories while “doing life” today!

Have a terrific Thursday Leisurelings!


***The calorie breakdowns above came from a large variety of sources…magazines, news publications, health publications, and fitness applications. While all breakdowns were relatively close, they were not exactly the same. I rounded the numbers in order to give the most accurate and consistent average. It’s important to remember, where calories burned are concerned, that both body weight and pace will always be a factor when doing any kind of physical activity.


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