Sunday, July 13, 2014

Your Health: You may be surprised to discover how many calories you burn during spring cleaning

April 15. 2013 6:23PM

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As much of the country begins to thaw out from a long and cold winter, the warmer temperatures are sure to get many Americans up and moving. Whether you find yourself doing yard work, taking an extra walk around the block, or cooking and cleaning indoors, give yourself the credit you deserve for these activities. Health happens daily — even when you don’t realize it. Counting the calories you burn and consume will give you a more accurate picture of your overall health. In fact, you’re probably already doing many of these spring-cleaning activities, and you may be surprised to find out just how many calories you’re burning.

Yard work is hard work. Now that the snow has melted and/or the rain has ceased, it’s time to get that yard under control. One half hour of mowing the yard burns 187 calories. That, on top of thirty minutes of gardening, can help you burn a whopping 320 calories in just an hour.

Not warm enough yet for yard work? No problem. Thirty minutes of light cleaning plus thirty minutes of cooking burns about 125 calories combined. If you’re planning a deeper clean — baseboards, windows, scrubbing down the kitchen and bathroom — you can up that burn to 200 calories an hour!

Pack away those winter clothes. Not only will you free up closet space, but you may just slim your waistline in time to get back into last season’s shorts. Boxing up and moving all those heavy sweaters and coats will help you burn about 85 calories in just half an hour. If you’re carrying those boxes upstairs, in 30 minutes you will have burned 305 calories!

Rearranging furniture isn’t easy. Now that you’ve freed up enough space, it’s time to spruce up your furniture arrangement. That can include some heavy lifting, so it’s no wonder this activity burns about 204 calories every thirty minutes.

If you’re ready to enjoy some fresh air, so are the kids. We’ve heard it time and time again: it’s the little things that count. Take a walk around the block pushing your child in a stroller for thirty minutes and you’ll burn 85 calories. If you ditch the stroller, you can burn 125 calories by walking while carrying the child during that same thirty-minute interval.

Spring chores and activities burn almost as many calories as an actual workout. Apps like MyFitnessPal (full disclosure: the writer is a co-founder), available on all platforms including the Web, offer an enormous fitness database, allowing users to track just about any food they eat or activity they perform. So get into the spring-cleaning spirit and track each of your various activities, to get a better picture of your overall health this season.

- MCT Information Services

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