Do you struggle to fit a dose of exercise into your daily routine? You’re not alone. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just over half of adult Americans are achieving the recommended guidelines for aerobic activity. Now more than ever before, people are aware of the importance of keeping active. Exercise can reduce the risk of developing some chronic illnesses. Yet making an effort to maintain a fitness routine can sometimes fall by the wayside. Attending the gym for a workout session, joining a sports team or signing up to regular fitness classes are all great ways to get fit and stay fit. However, these methods of working out don’t always offer the flexibility you may need to fit them into your busy home and work schedules. The recommended two and a half hours of physical activity per week may sometimes seem out of reach. But what if you looked at three simple everyday tasks from a different perspective? Inspired by the recent sporting events and by using the MET value formula, the team at Treated.com were able to build a visual guide looking at the calorie burn for regular household chores. The guide demonstrates the time an average 155lb person would need to spend carrying out a chore to achieve the same calorie burn as they would performing a track and field event. To make it easier to digest, we’ve broken the visual into down three everyday tasks: the commute, housework and grocery shopping.
The time we spend getting to and from work can provide the perfect opportunity for building up our daily activity levels. Instead of sitting in traffic jams or enduring uncomfortable public transport journeys why not consider walking instead? Walking is a great way to exercise as it strengthens bones and muscles, can help maintain a healthy weight and even improve your mood. It might be unrealistic to think you’ll spend 12 hours walking the dog as the visual suggests. A more attainable target could be 30 minutes of walking at a good pace five days a week. Just half an hour of walking could burn close to 100 calories and see you reach the recommended weekly target of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. Leave your car at home and switch it for a brisk walk, or walk to the train or bus station if work is further from your house. These small changes have the potential to benefit your health on a much grander scale.
Housework: love it or hate it, it’s one of those tasks that we all have to do. If you’re looking for a little extra motivation to keep your house in order, then you might like to know the number of calories you could be set to burn and the muscles you engage. For instance, the aforementioned research noted that:
- Cleaning the bathroom for just five minutes could burn 21 calories and use the muscles in your legs, arms and back.
- Vacuuming the floors for ten minutes could burn approximately 35 calories whilst employing muscles in the legs, arms, core and back.
- Nine minutes of window washing could burn 34 calories and engage the muscles in your shoulders, arms, core and legs.
Heading to the shops and picking up groceries can also add to your levels of aerobic and strength training activities. A brief nine minutes of carrying shopping bags burns approximately 26 calories, the equivalent number of calories as running the 400m event. It goes without saying that your commute, housework and grocery shopping should not replace any regular exercise activities you take part in. Yet, this visual reference can provide encouragement for those struggling to fit exercise into their everyday lives. So, don’t despair if you miss the odd gym session, you can still get your heart rate racing and muscles moving during simple everyday tasks.