4 Ways to Get a Cleaner House and Leaner Body

If you need to get your spring cleaning done but also want to fit in a workout, you'll be pleased to hear you can do both simultaneously. Here are the top around-the-house and garden chores you can do to burn the most calories.
Spring cleaning feature

I have a friend who owns a cleaning business, and one day, when she had 3 large houses on her schedule, her cleaning crew called in sick. She asked if I’d be willing to work with her that day so she could finish the job. I agreed to be her apprentice, and we got off to an early start, knowing it would be a long day. Because I was strong, physically fit, and had lots of energy, I was certain that I would be a great help to her. I also figured I had an effective skill set for cleaning since I was keeping up a home of my own and raising three kids. I was familiar with a constant rotation of chores and a never-ending list of cleaning to get done. When I ventured out with my friend that day, my eyes were opened to how exhausting a workout cleaning and housekeeping can be.

Throughout the day, we were repeatedly bending, scrubbing, mopping, dusting, and going up and down stairs. We carried buckets and canister vacuums and loaded and unloaded our supplies from the car. By the end of the day, I was completely wiped out, and this was coming from a person who hit the gym 5-6 days a week doing weight training, group classes, and long-duration cardio. I learned that when you take cleaning seriously and move quickly to get things done, it is a legitimate workout.

Cleaning Is A Serious Workout

Making the bed

Cleaning the house is exercise, and when you think about it, as we age, the loss of strength and mobility can make routine cleaning tasks difficult to do. A great change of perspective is realizing that having the ease of mobility and muscle control to do things like dusting and mopping is great! Even better, you’re both burning calories and training muscle while you’re doing it. Good old cleaning can be an excellent, full-body workout!

The Best Chores For The Best Workout

Certain cleaning chores burn more calories than others. So, while all cleaning is wonderful and will burn calories, I’ve got a list of favorites that can burn the most.


Woman dusting

Calories Burned: 159 per hour

You may not have thought too much about how dusting your home can be a fantastic workout, but with a little thought and extra effort, you can amplify the muscles worked and calories burned. You may not burn over 100 calories if you’re simply wiping down a couple of things in your home, but if you spend 30 minutes really getting into it, you can work some extra muscles and burn well over 100 calories. Here are some tips for amplifying your dusting routine:

  • Dust places that are a bit out of reach. As you stand on your toes, find your balance, and extend your arms, you will engage muscles from head to toe. Use that feather duster to get high corners, ceiling fans, and the trim over doors and windows.
  • Dust places that are low. Squatting down to dust will really engage your lower body and leg muscles. The legs and butt combine such a large muscle group that you’ll not only feel the muscle burn but also burn extra calories. Squat down and dust those baseboards, too!
  • Dusting flat surfaces. As you dust flat surfaces, focus on putting some extra “elbow grease” into it. Get the front of your appliances, tabletops, windowsills, and other ledges. This will have you moving quickly, bending, and activating that upper body.

Mopping and Vacuuming


Calories Burned: 318 per hour

Mopping burns around 318 calories an hour and works on your shoulders, triceps, and biceps, as well as your core. Now, you will need to engage your brain to connect to your muscles to activate some of those muscle groups. As you’re bending and swirling, be sure to tighten and engage those core muscles.

Window Washing

Woman washing windows

Calories Burned: 252 per hour

Washing your windows can be a total body workout; depending on how many windows you have in your home, you can burn far more than 250 calories per hour! If you have high windows and are up and down a ladder, you’ll get an excellent upper and lower body workout. In fact, I’ve done some window washing where my arm gets so tired that I must take a break. Most of us tend to wash our windows with our dominant arm, so you can balance things out and take on an extra challenge by switching to your non-dominant arm for some of your window cleanings.

Take Spring Cleaning Outside The Home For An Even Better Workout


Dusting, mopping, and cleaning inside the home can give you a great workout, but you can burn even more calories and work more muscles by getting outside and doing some vigorous yard work. From moving soil to digging and shoveling, you’ll find you’re engaging your entire body. There’s the up and down in planting and gardening, as well as the bending, pushing, and moving.

Whether it’s lawn care, working in your garden, or entertaining your dog, spring cleaning inside and outside the home is a fantastic workout and leads to a healthier, cleaner life!

Read Next:

6-Week Home Workout Plan With No Equipment

Consistent Workouts Beat Aggressive Workouts

Best No-Gym Workout


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