Forget shelling out for gym membership or pricey boot camps, the best way to get trim and toned for the summer could be staying at home.
A day doing the housework, including vacuuming, cleaning the windows, scrubbing the floors and gardening, can burn over 1,000 calories.
Research has found that each household task targets different muscle groups so a day of chores could provide a perfect full-body workout.
A day doing the housework can burn over 1,000 calories. Vacuuming targets the core, calves and triceps and burns 180 calories in half an hour.
According to Stormclad, one of the most effective ways to improve your body while sprucing up your home is getting down on all fours to cleaning. A thirty-minutes floor scrubbing session burns 200kcal
According to , vacuuming targets the core, calves and triceps, washing the windows strengthens the upper body while mowing the lawn is best for cardio.
But can turning your house into a gym really keep you fit?
‘No amount of scrubbing is going to prepare you for a 5km run but that’s not to say that housework can’t be beneficial,’ explains personal trainer Andrew Flint.
‘Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which is the energy we expend on daily activities like these, has been found to make people healthier and live longer.’
For a toned upper torso, the best way to pass the time at home is to get the windows sparkling clean, which burns 125kcal in a 22 minute work-out. The first step is to apply the soap using a circular motion, which works the shoulders and biceps, while rinsing is best done in a vertical lines to attack the tricep muscles.
According to Stormclad, the most effective way to improve your body while sprucing up your home is getting down on all fours to cleaning the floor or doing a spot of digging in garden.
The key to good floor scrubbing is to sweep the arms outwards so they are fully extended and then back in line with the shoulder blades taking care to engage the core.
A 30-minute floor scrubbing session burns 200 calories, equivalent to a 45-minute dance session.
Using both hands can enhance the activity further and lifting the knees off the floor into a plank pose, adds further benefit.
‘This gives a better workout to the core and also targets the gluts,’ says Andrew, who believes what you get out of your housework largely depends on the effort you put in.
Andrew advises: ‘Look at the task that needs to be done and think to yourself, “What’s the hardest way I could do this physically?”‘
‘It also doesn’t have to be continuous. If it’s broken up with recovery time in between it can be more rigorous and therefore more beneficial.’
Another good calorie burner according to the research is doing the vacuuming. Half an hour burns 180kcal, the equivalent of a 30-minute brisk walk.
To get the best out of a vacuuming session, extend the arm fully before retracting back towards the body.
Take care to swap hands after 15 minutes to ensure both sides of the body are getting a workout.
For a more advance floor cleaning work-out, add lunges between vacuuming reps, which target the gluts.
For a toned upper torso, the best way to pass the time at home is to get the windows sparkling clean, which burns 125 calories in a 22 minute workout.
The first step is to apply the soap using a circular motion, which works the shoulders and biceps, while rinsing is best done in a vertical lines to attack the tricep muscles.
An extra polish once the windows have dried can add extra oomph to the work-out.
Mowing the lawn is best to get the heart-rate up, burning 185kcal in 25 minutes, but the most strenuous of all is digging, burning 315kcal in half an hour, the equivalent of 30 minutes on the football pitch. The upper body, lower back and thighs all benefit.
If the daily chores get boring, doing a spot of DIY can be just as beneficial.
Removing and installing a new carpet works out the entire body. The movement starts on the knees with arms outstretched to grip the edge of the old carpet and then involves walking backwards before crawling back on the knees to install the new one.
Painting the walls for half an hour is equivalent to a 35-minute brisk walk and burns 210kcal.
Not challenging enough? Strap on some wrist weight to step it up a gear.