Burn calories with everyday chores

Penda Honeyghan

Monday, May 20, 2019

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THE truth is, you don't have to have a gym membership or a personal trainer to advance on your fitness journey.

In fact, personal trainer and fitness instructor Gisel Harrow says performing everyday activities, such as chores, can stretch and tone muscles as well as burn calories.

“Exercise has many different forms in which it can be performed to yield great results. Most would think that exercise means going to the gym, aerobics, weightlifting, or resistance training; and the list can vary [to see you] doing a specific programme specially designed for your goals. However, exercise is basically movements that help to enhance your daily life, to make it easier to function as a whole,” Harrow said.

Check out these physical activities that Harrow says can help you reap real benefits without you ever stepping inside a gym:


Chores such as vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, mopping, and hanging out laundry are great ways to burn calories while trying to keep in shape.

These activities — as well as other physical exercise-type motions such as lifting, pushing, shoving and bending (squatting) — will encourage stretching and can raise your heart rate while improving your health.

For the best results, Harrow advises that you should intensify or speed up the activities.

Climbing the stairs

Climbing the stairs, especially when done frequently, can keep your legs and glutes nice and toned while burning calories.

Don't just do this at home; every opportunity you get to use stairs, start climbing.

Do the yard work yourself

Instead of hiring someone to do the gardening or the general yard maintenance, you should consider doing it yourself.

“Yard work such as digging, raking, watering plants, and transferring pots and plants are perfect for working the arms and legs while keeping the heart strong and healthy,” Harrow said.

Walk or ride instead of driving

Walking is one of the easiest ways to burn calories. When going to nearby locations, walk or ride to the destination.

Walking and cycling not only burn calories and improve heart health, but they are also good for your mental health and relax you.


Cooking at home is considered to be one of the ways to keep your body in tip-top shape, because it involves physical activities such as the stirring that is involved in food preparation, and moving about the kitchen from one area to the next.

Also, when you prepare your own meals at home you can manage what you consume.

Harrow advises that incorporating more physical activities in family leisure time is also an excellent way to up the calories burnt on a routine basis.

Leisure time can be more fun, while reaping health benefits, if you trade movie or television nights and other sedimentary-type activities for outdoor exploits such as playing football, volleyball, basketball, and other sporting activities.

Harrow advises that while exercise can be beneficial there are a number of things you can do to get even better results.

One of the most important steps to take is to intensify or increase the speed at which you complete chores, putting extra effort into stretching and shoving while being intentional with your squats and your back-and-forth motions — such as when you are sweeping or raking — and keeping your back straight, as slouching can hurt your exercise.

To get you in the mood for working up a sweat, Harrow also recommends that you create a playlist of your favourite upbeat dancehall, rock and roll, or salsa songs, for example, to keep you moving.

— Penda Honeyghan

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