How can we burn more calories and faster?


We are all looking for that quick fix to burn more calories, especially now when we cannot get to the gym or do our usual exercise. A lot of our ‘get up and go’ seems to have ‘got up and gone’, so how can we get that back? You might be surprised to know just how many calories you can burn by doing everyday household tasks. 

In this blog, I thought we would look at some normal household chores to see how many calories you can burn and compare this to the types of exercise which you might usually do. All these calories add up throughout the day and it might even make you feel happier about doing the ironing 😊

This is especially important now, as we have to make more effort to keep ourselves fit and healthy now that we must stay home more, and gyms and swimming pools etc are closed for the time being.

Let’s start with exercise.

All the following are for calories burned per 30 minutes so that you can compare with our W Fitness circuit: (all are approximate depending on bodyweight, effort and speed)

  1. Strength Training/Resistance Exercise – 110-250 calories. You will continue to burn calories, also known as the afterburn, after your workout as your body uses excess oxygen (calories) in order to repair and return to its resting state. Resistance training also increases muscle and bone strength, helps with weight maintenance and boosts mood.
  2. Running – 200-500 calories 
  3. Zumba – approximately 300 calories
  4. Bike Ride – approximately 300 calories
  5. Walking – 150-200 calories
  6. Swimming – approximately 250-300 calories
  7. Skipping Rope – 300-450 calories
  8. Tennis – 300-400 calories

Household Chores

Now let’s look at some household chores to see how many calories we can burn whilst doing things that need to be done: (again these are for 30 minutes, and all approximate, depending on bodyweight, effort and speed)

  1. Washing-Up – 50 calories
  2. Hanging, folding and washing laundry – 75 calories
  3. Making the bed – 35 calories
  4. Dusting – 60 calories
  5. Vacuuming – 100 calories
  6. Ironing – 90-110 calories
  7. Cleaning/scrubbing the bathroom – 110 calories
  8. Cleaning/washing windows – 120 calories
  9. Gardening – 90-300 calories (depending on whether you are doing gentle gardening or heavy digging!)
  10. Weeding – 130 calories
  11. DIY – 100 calories
  12. Washing the car – 160 calories
  13. Mowing the lawn – 170 calories
  14. Watering the plants – 60 calories
  15. Changing the furniture around in the room – 190 calories
  16. Decluttering, sorting and clearing – 190 calories
  17. Moving boxes in and out of the loft/attic – 300 calories

These are all jobs that need doing anyway, so this gives you some idea of how many calories you can burn in a day by doing a combination of chores. For example, washing up, making the beds, cleaning the bathroom, and vacuuming can burn approximately 290 calories! Add in an hour’s brisk walk and that is another 200 calories and then maybe a W Fitness online Zumba class at 300 calories and you’ve burned approximately 800 calories! Try to incorporate a combination of cardio, such as walking or cleaning/washing the windows or bathroom along with some strength training such as a targeted workout using weights or dusting and vacuuming, for the perfect programme while we are stuck at home!

Look at our online classes and support group for help and guidance. 

I’m trying to declutter the loft in my spare time throughout this lockdown, so I’ve included the calories burned for that too. Wow 300 calories (and many more as I’m definitely doing more than half an hour at a time!) for lifting and moving storage boxes in and out of the loft, and hopefully a reasonably empty and tidy loft at the end of it too! 

Basically, the more we move, the more calories we burn and keep burning even afterwards, so if we can do a combination of exercise and household chores, we are doing the best for our bodies and health as well as having the satisfaction of getting all those ‘not so nice’ jobs done too! 

Are we more likely to want to do these chores and put more effort in now that we know how many calories we are burning? Absolutely, I’m even more motivated to get the loft finished now! 😊

Remember, in the words of Nemo, just keep swimming – or, in this case, moving 😊

Much Love

Caroline & Hannah xx