Too Busy for a Workout? Do Your Household Chores Instead

Everyday fitness is important for your health. Regular exercise will improve your mobility and will keep your body in good shape in and out.

But sometimes, your day can get so busy that you can’t dedicate an hour or so to a workout. Maybe you’re chasing deadlines at school or work or have a full day of Zoom meetings scheduled. During your free time, all you want to do is rest or catch up with household chores.

The good thing is that if you are to dedicate your weekends to household chores, they can double as a workout.

Workout Chores

Washing Your Car

Whether you use your car often or not, you need to wash it regularly. Doing so will help preserve its exterior. Also, a dirty car isn’t really pleasing to the eye. If your car collects dust, passersby might write on the dust and leave unpleasant comments or doodles.

Cleaning your car is a great way to work out if you’re too busy. Depending on your body mass, you can burn 135 to 189 calories for 30 minutes’ work of washing a car. It can also work up your upper body strength. For instance, the rotational movement of your arms to soap and wipe your car can help you build arm and shoulder muscles.

Cleaning the Pool

Swimming itself is a workout. But there is one more pool-related activity that you can also turn into a workout: cleaning. When you clean the pool, you need to remove debris floating around and pour swimming pool acid to ensure that your pool water is clear and has safe pH levels. These activities can be considered exercise, too. For example, holding out a pool net and gliding it through the water will put your arm muscles to work.

Mowing the Lawn

The key to a beautiful lawn is proper maintenance, which includes mowing it. You need to mow your lawn every two weeks or even less, depending on how fast your grass grows.

Mowing can be a productive cardiovascular workout. Pushing around a lawnmower can help you burn the same amount of calories as you would in washing a car.


Having a home garden comes with a lot of benefits. The mere exposure to nature whenever you execute gardening tasks can help you relieve your stress and improve your mood. Meanwhile, the physical labor that goes into gardening can be considered exercise.

Weeding your backyard can serve as a workout as well. For example, pulling stubborn weeds isn’t easy. You have to twist, pull, and use a lot of force to remove them successfully.



A clean home is a healthy home. Part of maintaining cleanliness inside your home is cleaning the floor and minimizing dust. Both of these can be achieved by vacuuming your home.

It can turn into a workout because of all the heavy lifting you need to do. For example, if you need to clean under your couch, you’ll have to either lift it or push it away and then back. If you don’t want to lift, you’ll have to squat down and reach out the vacuum to get into every corner in your house. Thus, vacuuming your home becomes a full-body workout.


In the 1984 film Karate Kid, the protagonist was made to paint wooden fences as part of his karate training. Mr. Miyagi, the trainer, was really onto something with this strategy.

You’re probably not going to paint a lot of things in your home. But when you do, you’ll be happy to know it doubles as a workout. This can also motivate you to avoid delaying the task. Painting can help you tone your arm and shoulder muscles through upward and downward brush strokes. In particular, you’re working out your deltoids, biceps, and the pectoralis major and putting them to good use.

This chore is also a great way to burn calories. According to Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound individual can burn around 176 calories when painting walls inside the house for 30 minutes.

Changing the Mindset

You may dread doing chores. So, you get lazy and end up delaying them. Although rest is important, this laziness never leads to good results. For example, having a dirty home and car can affect your health in the long run.

The key is to change the way you look at household chores to be more motivated to do them. If you view chores as workouts, you may be more likely to do them. You’ll see chores not as annoying tasks that eat up your time but as ways to improve your overall health.

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