It’s spring! The birds are chirping, days are longer and warmer, but with this exciting new season also comes the idea of doing some good old spring cleaning. It’s the time of year when we deep clean the house top to bottom, go through our closets and possibly have a garage sale to get rid of our old “junk.” And although most of us cringe at the thought of wasting a beautiful Saturday outdoors to instead stay in to clean and organize, there are actually some benefits that come from all that hard work called “spring cleaning.”
There are many chores that we keep on around the house weekly such as general cleaning, vacuuming, mopping, and laundry, but there are a few extra things we can do this time of year to prepare for spring and summer. When I think about spring cleaning, some of the duties that come to mind are cleaning out clutter and organizing, washing windows, storing winter clothes, dusting-everything, and cleaning carpets just to name a few. Most of the time, for myself, I dread the daily and weekly chores to upkeep the housework, but maybe we should consider it beneficial by engaging in some physical activity and this might help motivate us to complete the work. After all, the end result of a clean, organized house is always refreshing.
Household chores or spring cleaning does have its benefits, one of those is it does allow us to burn calories through our work. How many calories you burn doing any specific chore is going to depend on your weight, your fitness level, and the amount of time you spend cleaning. According to webmd.com, here are some estimates of how many calories an individual could burn doing 30 minutes of chores. These estimates are for an individual weighing 150 pounds. Engaging in general cleaning duties for 30 minutes equals approximately 127 calories burned. Cooking for 30 minutes, estimated calories burned is 92. Doing the dreaded laundry burns approximately 133 calories, while vacuuming burns 123. If you head outdoors to trim the shrubs, it’s estimated you would burn about 157 calories. Again, these estimates are based on a 150 pound person, but as you can see there are physical benefits from cleaning and the harder and longer you clean the more calories you would burn.
So, instead of dreading that designated day you set aside to tackle spring cleaning around the house, embrace it! Roll up those sleeves, work a little harder than usual, burn some calories, and enjoy the end result of a well cleaned house!
Sarah Sonis is program director for the Freeman Southwest Family YMCA.