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Burn calories by cleaning your home, gardening

May 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you have cleaning or garden help, consider this: You can save money and get fit by doing the work yourself.

Fitness expert Christine Lusita of Zen Pen Fitness puts a great spin on something we don't usually enjoy: cleaning the house.

"It's a great opportunity to do functional movements that we do in our everyday life, and we can apply it towards exercise as well," said Lusita.

Using your entire body to rub and scrub things clean and shiny also gets your metabolism lathered up.

"We can burn tons of calories. For an hour of softball, I burned 96 calories, yet, I spent an hour of window cleaning, and I burned 144 calories. So it's definitely not a waste to clean," said Lusita.

It's not exactly glamorous, but keep in mind, if you scrub, sweep and mop your own floor, you could burn up to 450 calories. Calories burned depends on how much you weigh and, of course, effort. These numbers are for someone cleaning for a half-hour, weighing in at 130 pounds.

Mopping alone torches 146 calories, and it's a great way to tone muscles as well. Sweep away 167 calories or vacuum for about 140.

Actually, 60 minutes of assorted household chores will burn about a few hundred calories. You can average about 150 calories if you head outside and garden.

Lusita checked her calorie burn using a device called Gruve, which measures your energy output on even your non-exercise activity. Studies show it helps keep us on our program. It might also reveal that you're burning more calories doing everyday activities, beyond that brief time at the gym.

"It's just interesting to see how many calories I can burn just by walking a little bit further or carrying my groceries - just your regular daily activity," said Lusita.

Lusita said she can burn 86 calories by walking the dog for 15 minutes. It all adds up.

See photos of calorie-burning chores around the house.

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