Honestly? I don't clean very often. When I do, it is continuous movement including bending over and going up and down stair,s scrubbing floors, etc. I count it then. Sometimes I make it into a game - how fast can I get x done. Or how many times can I go up and down the stairs in x amount of times. I wear a heart rate monitor so that I can confirm that my heart rate is high enough to count as exercise.
If it is something you do daily, then no, I wouldn't count it
I wouldn't count it unless it is something you don't normally do and it is actually fairly strenuous.
Fitness Minutes: (65,916)
2,489 4/30/13 7:08 A
I only track exercise that gets my heart rate up to a moderate to maximum intensity. So for me that's 110 bpm-170 bpm. Although, I am a very busy SAHM and rarely sit during the day (cooking, cleaning, taking care of my kids) I consider that to be part of my normal daily activity which Spark factors into our BMR (and calorie range) already. Spark does consider all of us to be "lightly active" and I'd say I fall more into the "moderately active" range. But I'd rather Spark underestimate how much I'm burning than overestimate. If I lose weight faster than Spark predicts (which I do) that's just a bonus.
So I track my planned exercise; my fitness videos and strength training. And only activities like; walking/hiking for 30+ mins, gardening, sports, swimming, maybe "heavy" housework I don't do routinely.
I don't count it- I consider it part of my daily activity. Even if I spend an hour or two cleaning something, I don't count it. Raking the yard or shoveling 3 feet of snow? Sure- that I count, because I'm a sweaty, sore mess after and I know I've gotten my heart rate up.
While it is being physically active, most housework probably won't get your heart rate up high enough for long enough to be considered a substitute for more focussed exercise. Also, in estimating your overall calorie burn, Spark already includes an allowance for normal daily activities (including housework), so to include it as exercise would be to double count. The way I see it, we all got to the weight we are by doing what we do, so to lose weight we need to do more - tracking housework as exercise may lead you into a false sense of security as to your overall activity level. Personally, I don't track things I would have done anyway before I decided to get healthy.
That said, there are some housework activities that are both physical enough and sufficiently different from normal activities that they can be considered exercise, and perhaps are worth tracking. Yard work and heavy scrubbing are perhaps examples of this. But it is worth remembering that the tracker assumes continuous activity - while the task of cleaning the bath may have taken half an hour, by the time you got the cleaning materials out, rinsed off, etc, there may only have been 15 minutes of active scrubbing.
It is probably best to be pretty conservative on this, but that doesn't mean you should compeletely exclude it.
Fitness Minutes: (1,740)
74 4/29/13 10:33 P
When I do housework I have to specifically avoid an aerobic level of activity - Lord knows what the place would look like then.
So I would say it's healthful to move around and do things, but I would not put it in a category of activities that specifically target a physiological result.
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