6 Household Chores That Burn Major Calories

No time to hit the gym? Hit the broom instead! Housework is a cheap and productive way to burn a ton of calories.

By Reader's Digest Editors


Burning about 240 calories per hour, sweeping/mopping is a great upper and lower body workout. Focus on the dirtiest areas of the floor first, then move to the cleaner portions for an efficient workout and clean.

Mowing the lawn

Dump your expensive gardener and tackle the lawn on your own. Use a manual or push mower for maximum calorie burn. Expect to burn about 325 calories per hour. Here are 7 ways to mow like a pro.


Think cooking is a passive activity? Think again. On competitive cooking shows, the chefs add just as much sweat as they do seasoning to make an expert meal. Put on your chef’s hat and burn about 150 calories per hour.

Shoveling snow

Burn off holiday treats by shoveling your own snow. This heart-pumping exercise burns about 415 calories per hour.


Stain your deck or repaint that unsightly room and you’ll burn about 290 calories per hour. Painting is an excellent way to work your leg and arm muscles while building lean muscle mass.


Working in your vegetable and flower garden will help you burn calories and make a more welcoming outdoor environment. You’ll burn about 250 calories per hour. Enjoy the added bonus of fresh vegetables from your garden, which will benefit your wallet and your waistline.

Plus: Calories Burned in 6 Popular Gym Classes

Sources: Fitness Magazine, LiveStrong.com, DivineCaroline.com

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