Home Cleaning as a Therapeutic Exercise?

Home Cleaning

People think that nobody loves to clean the house and that it is one of the chores impossible to feel affection to. Still, do you know that feeling when you get everything to shine and sparkle and you are on the top of the world? Turns out, there is some science behind it. According to WebMD, clutter can frustrate and drain you, and become a major obstacle to having a normal life. Cleaning, on the other hand, not only improves your mental outlook, but is also a good exercise for your muscles. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a broom and start exercising your body and mind.

Cleaning Your Way to a Fitter Body

Even in the distant 1936 people were aware that cleaning can have similar benefits as exercising. An article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette stated that “the reaching motions of housework may be just so many stretching contributions to your beauty regime: dusting, putting dishes up on a high shelf or taking them down, hanging curtains.” It is obvious that the article was published in the time when housework was intended for women alone, but nowadays, we can see how all of these activities can contribute to both men’s and women’s fitness. Here are some house cleaning chores reinvented in the form of exercises:

  • Sweeping and vacuuming can burn up to 240 calories per hour. You can make that job a lot more fun and easier by putting on some music and moving to the beat.
  • Scrubbing floors will help you torch about 325 calories per hour and if you combine the movements with getting on your hands and knees, it can contribute to muscle toning and stretching.
  • Cooking (no tasting please), can burn up to 150 calories per hour if you are using your hands for chopping, mixing, etc. instead of using electronic devices.
  • Laundry is really a great exercise, especially if you put the basket with clothes on the floor, so you have to continuously bend to reach the clothes. By doing this you can burn up to 260 calories per hour.
  • Some general cleaning chores, such as doing the dishes and dusting can burn up to 200 calories per hour.
  • You can burn the biggest number of calories by doing chores in your backyard. Shoveling snow alone can torch more than 400 calories, while mowing the lawn burns 325, and raking leaves 235 calories.

Cleaning Your Way to a Soother Mind

Cleaning of the house contributes not only to your physical fitness (and thus overall health), but also just the sight of a freshly cleaned house can be relaxing, motivating and therapeutic. Freshly cleaned homes are filled with renewed energy and, as such, they can provide mental stimulation for observers and residents. Also, cleaning can actually help you focus on some issues you need to resolve or simply clean your mind of everything and meditate while working. Once it becomes habitual and reflexive, you can let your mind wander off all the way to holiday plans, family schedules, work obligations, etc. Just think about how many problems you can focus on (and find a solution for) while trying to rub off a single stain off your carpet, or how relaxing the repetitive movement of a steam cleaner over your furniture can be. It is not just the movement and the freedom of mind that are relaxing, but also the soothing smells of your freshly cleaned house that will both re-energize your body and cleanse your mind.

House cleaning, if done regularly and properly, can truly be a holistic treatment providing your body with the needed challenges, and your mind with the needed time off. Sure, occasional going to sauna or spa is great, but when you cannot do that, use what was at first an annoying chore to your advantage and get the most out of it. Happy cleaning!