What household chores burn the most calories?

When it comes to burning calories, not all household chores are created equal. Some activities require more energy expenditure than others, leading to more calories burned. For those looking to get in some extra exercise or increase calorie burn while doing household tasks, targeting certain high-intensity chores can help.

What Activities Burn the Most Calories Per Hour?

High-intensity exercise and activities that engage multiple large muscle groups tend to burn the most calories per hour. This includes things like:

  • Jogging or running – 600-900 calories per hour
  • Swimming laps – 500-700 calories per hour
  • Hiking uphill – 700+ calories per hour
  • Jumping rope – 700-900 calories per hour
  • High-intensity circuit training – 600-800 calories per hour

When it comes to household chores, activities that require similar vigorous effort, along with using major muscle groups in the legs, core, and arms, will burn the most calories as well.

Calorie Burn for Common Chores

Here’s a look at approximate calories burned per hour for various household tasks:

Household Chore Calories Burned Per Hour
Heavy cleaning (scrubbing floors, washing windows) 300-400
Sweeping floors 200-300
Dusting and light cleaning 100-200
Food prep and cooking 100-200
Ironing 100-200
Doing laundry 50-100
Washing dishes 50-100
Gardening (mowing lawn) 300-400
Shoveling snow 300-400

As shown, the most demanding household chores like heavy cleaning, gardening, and shoveling can burn over 300 calories per hour. More leisurely activities like cooking and doing laundry burn closer to 100 calories or less per hour.

How to Maximize Calorie Burn

To get the most out of your household workout, consider the following tips:

  • Choose rigorous tasks like scrubbing floors and walls, vacuuming carpets, and hauling laundry up and down stairs.
  • Opt for yard work like digging, chopping wood, raking leaves, or shoveling snow.
  • Go at a fast pace and limit breaks.
  • Add intervals of higher intensity activity like jogging in place or doing jumping jacks.
  • Do compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once.
  • Carry loads like laundry baskets to increase resistance.
  • Involve major muscles of the arms, legs, shoulders, back, and core.

The more strenuous the activity, the higher the calorie burn. Selecting more demanding chores and maintaining a faster pace without breaks will enable you to burn maximum calories per hour.

Best Chores for Fat Burning

Certain chores seem designed specifically to torch calories and fat:

Scrubbing Floors and Walls

This chore works the arms, back, shoulders, and core as you bend, squat, and scour. The intensity can get your heart pumping. Burning 300-500 calories per hour is possible.

Washing Windows

Reaching up high to clean windows engages the shoulders, arms, and core. Squatting down to reach lower areas works the glutes and legs too. This challenging chore burns up to 400 calories per hour.

Heavy Yardwork

Shoveling dirt, lugging heavy loads of mulch or wood, and raking thick grass are tough calorie-burning tasks. You can torch 400-500 calories per hour with vigorous yardwork.

Chopping and Hauling Firewood

Chopping firewood works the arms, back, and core. Hauling and stacking the wood is great for the legs, glutes, shoulders, and grip. Combined, these activities can burn over 500 calories per hour.

Cleaning Out the Garage

This chore is a full-body workout – sweeping, bending, lifting, and hauling debris. You also get cardio benefits from fast-paced activity. Calorie burn exceeds 300 per hour.

High Calorie Burning Tips

To take your chore calorie-burning to the next level:

  • Wear a weighted vest to add resistance.
  • Use thick cleaning gloves and scrub brushes to up the intensity.
  • Do a HIIT style routine alternating intense bursts of activity with brief rest.
  • Play energetic motivating music to help push the pace.
  • Enlist a partner for two-person chores like washing windows.
  • Engage your core during any movements to increase calorie burn.
  • Schedule tough outdoor chores like shoveling when weather permits.

Daily Calorie Burn Goal

To lose 1-2 pounds per week, you need to create a daily calorie deficit of 500-1000 calories through increased activity and reduced food intake.

If your maintenance calories are around 2000 per day, aiming to burn an extra 500 calories a day from household chores would support steady weight loss over time without drastic cuts to your diet.

Here’s an example daily calorie burn goal from chores based on a 500 calorie deficit:

Chore Calories Burned
Scrubbing bathrooms 300
Mopping floors 150
Taking out trash 50
Total Calories Burned from Chores 500

This example shows how hitting a target of 500 calories burned from chore activities can contribute significantly to daily calorie goals. Focus on 1-2 tougher chores daily to aid fat loss.

Chores to Avoid

While some chores are great for burning calories, others require minimal exertion. Chores that yield lower calorie burns include:

  • Dusting furniture
  • Polishing surfaces
  • Sorting paperwork
  • Unloading dishes
  • Making the bed
  • Ironing
  • Picking up toys
  • Organizing cupboards
  • Sweeping light debris
  • Wiping counters

These light activities burn less than 100 calories per hour. To get the biggest bang for your buck, save these chores for rest days and focus on more intense options on days you want to increase calorie burn.

The Best Calorie Burning Chores

The household chores capable of burning over 400 calories per hour include:

  • Scrubbing floors, showers, and toilets
  • Washing exterior windows
  • Heavy yardwork like shoveling and hauling
  • Intense cleaning of garage and basement spaces
  • Moving furniture and rearranging rooms
  • Chopping and stacking firewood
  • Scraping and painting household surfaces

By incorporating these vigorous calorie-torching chores into your weekly routine, you can create a significant calorie deficit and achieve fat loss goals without drastic dietary changes or hours at the gym.

Sample Calorie Burning Chore Schedule

Here is a sample weekly schedule taking advantage of high-calorie household chores to create a 500-750 calorie per day deficit:

Day Chores Calories Burned
Monday Scrub bathroom – 300 calories
Mop floors – 150 calories
450 calories
Tuesday Take out trash – 50 calories
Vacuum stairs – 150 calories
Sweep garage – 100 calories
300 calories
Wednesday Scrub kitchen floor – 300 calories
Clean interior windows – 250 calories
550 calories
Thursday Rake leaves – 250 calories
Weed garden – 150 calories
400 calories
Friday Sort through basement items – 300 calories
Haul donations to car – 150 calories
450 calories
Saturday Scrub patio furniture – 200 calories
Sweep patio – 100 calories
300 calories
Sunday Rest Day 0 calories

This plan allows for burning 500-750 extra calories daily from high intensity chores without overdoing it. Take a rest day on Sunday to allow the body to recover.

Sample Chore Workouts

You can also get creative and use chores to form targeted fat-blasting routines. Here are two samples:

Total Body Blaster Chore Workout

Exercise Duration
Jogging in place lifting knees high 60 seconds
Scrubbing bathroom floor 3 minutes
Burpees x 10 reps 60 seconds
Cleaning mirrors and windows 3 minutes
Mountain climbers x 20 reps 60 seconds
Mopping kitchen floor 3 minutes
Jumping jacks x 30 reps 60 seconds
Scrubbing stovetop 3 minutes

This high intensity interval routine mixes challenging chores with cardio bursts to elevate heart rate. It burns over 300 calories in under 30 minutes.

Lower Body Slim Down Chore Circuit

Exercise Duration
Wall sits 60 seconds
Sweeping and mopping floors 3 minutes
Lunges x 10 reps per leg 60 seconds
Scrubbing baseboards 3 minutes
Squats x 15 reps 60 seconds
Cleaning low windows and mirrors 3 minutes
Calf raises x 20 reps 60 seconds
Sweeping garage 3 minutes

This leg toning chore circuit focuses on lower body exercises paired with calorie burning chores. It torches over 250 calories in 30 minutes.

Safety Tips

When incorporating chores into your workout routine, keep these safety guidelines in mind:

  • Start slowly and build up intensity over time to prevent injury.
  • Use proper form – keep back straight and bend knees for lifting.
  • Take breaks as needed and stay hydrated.
  • Be mindful of slick surfaces and wear shoes with good traction.
  • Don’t overdo it – heavy chores should supplement, not replace, exercise.
  • Listen to your body – rest when tired or sore.
  • Avoid chores requiring chemicals, heights, or equipment if new to exercising.

Focus on safe activities you are accustomed to and gradually increase chore workout duration and intensity. Build rest days into your schedule as well.

The Bottom Line

Hate working out? No problem! By taking advantage of calorie-torching household chores, you can burn fat and get fitter without ever hitting the gym. Chores that get your heart pumping and engage multiple muscle groups burn the most calories.

Aim for chores like heavy cleaning, vigorous yardwork, hauling loads, and full garage or basement cleanouts to maximize calorie expenditure. Cut back on chores that involve minimal movement to focus your efforts on fat-frying tasks.

Get creative with chore workouts and circuits to blast even more calories. Use chores alongside diet changes to create an effective daily calorie deficit. Just be sure to listen to your body and take safety precautions.

Incorporating calorie-burning chores into your routine is a simple, accessible way to work in more exercise and rev up your fat burning capabilities right at home!

Leave a Comment