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ARMARTIN527 SparkPoints: (15,818)
Fitness Minutes: (28,721)
Posts: 100
12/18/12 12:50 P

I totally agree with ERICWS - the article send an inconsistent message regarding exercise, which isn't the first time they've done that. I think the point of the article could be sumarised as this...Don't sit on your butt watching TV (not that you do), especially after the holidays, get up and move. Just DO SOMETHING.

I remember a previous WW Leader responding to the question regarding housework counting as exercise. She said, "If it didn't help with losing weight in the past, then don't count it."

Kudos for doing all that BTW...I'd rather run for a marathon (which I've never done) than do all that housework.

1GROVES2 Posts: 10,391
12/18/12 10:52 A

ERICWS...Thank You, I think you are the only one who actually understood what I was trying to say.....

PS I did not mean to sound rude, disrespectful or a smarty-pants....sorry if that was the impression I gave to some.

ERICWS SparkPoints: (8,307)
Fitness Minutes: (22,220)
Posts: 1,537
12/17/12 12:56 P

The OP makes a good point. She cited an article from a leading coach on SP, in which the article appears to suggest that house cleaning and the like can substitute for exercise.

This is a bit of an inconsistent message in my opinion.

I respectfully offer that the articles of this nature should be very clear in their point- that activity can burn calories and help in one's overall fitness, but should in no way be considered a substitute for some decent exercise and/or nutrition.

There's nothing wrong with being active, and factoring in active cleaning and every day activities, but I suggest that it is not really exercise in and of itself, on a par to running or briskly walking, biking, etc.

ROMEOSMOM27 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (34,428)
Posts: 376
12/17/12 10:29 A

I did all my housework on Sunday so I can enjoy the week.

1GROVES2 Posts: 10,391
12/17/12 10:03 A

OKAY..........This is not about whether I (or you) should count housework, this is about the indiscretions and inconsistencies on the SP articles............

RUNNING-TURTLE SparkPoints: (91,621)
Fitness Minutes: (97,361)
Posts: 2,448
12/15/12 3:36 P

Regular housecleaning I don't consider exercise. But I do make mine exercise when I try to clean as much of the house as fast as I can without stopping. That always gets my heart pumping. Plus things like mowing your lawn when you don't use a riding lawnmower is exercise.

KAIDAKANTRI SparkPoints: (1,529)
Fitness Minutes: (360)
Posts: 26
12/15/12 11:40 A

Eh, I personally don't count anything with housework. I figure I do that anyway, and it's a part of my daily chores, so it doesn't bother me to not count it.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 26,705
12/15/12 10:54 A

"Anyone who thinks housework is NOT a calorie burner,"...

..... not a single person on this thread thinks that.

Everyone KNOWS that everything we do burns calories. Typing this post burned calories!

The debate is whether household chores are on par with cardio exercises.

GOING4MUSCLE Posts: 5,233
12/14/12 9:40 P

Anyone who thinks housework is NOT a calorie burner, has never been a hotel housekeeper! I've always included my hard labored job, as part of my fitness amount. To this day..other than my strength training and my job..I require no cardio to lose the weight I have.

Now, if "housework" is...vacuum..sit down to watch a tv show..make a bed..sit down..ect, then NO, this wouldn't burn much. But, if you're a worker, who doesn't stop moving very much, then it applies!

I'm sitting here, right now, sore and very tired, as my workday was extremely demanding. I burned a boat load of me! emoticon emoticon

BERTA6978 SparkPoints: (43,739)
Fitness Minutes: (58,319)
Posts: 821
12/14/12 9:31 P

I wish there were a "like button". I agree with you, Bubble. However, in my case, my body would sense that heavy cleaning was a new activity. emoticon

BUBBLEJ1 Posts: 2,981
12/14/12 9:23 P

I think that if you are just starting and you haven't done ANYTHING exercise wise, then house cleaning could be counted for a little while. However, once you have been exercising a while house cleaning (even heavy cleaning) won't burn as many calories, and tracking it may overestimate your calories burning, which could harm your weight loss.

Those articles aren't designed to be the be all and end all. They include suggestions and ideas that may help some people in some situations, but you shouldn't base your whole weight loss exercise routine around them.

BERTA6978 SparkPoints: (43,739)
Fitness Minutes: (58,319)
Posts: 821
12/14/12 5:59 P

I agree with many of the other posters here in that some housework is indeed exercise. However, for me, I think some basic housework is already included in our Spark People calculations. I don't count them as exercise calories, but if I've worked extra hard, I congratulate myself that I've been more active. I also consider it as compensating for the calories I've forgotten to count or underestimated.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 26,705
12/14/12 3:24 P

"I work up a sweat "... means nothing in regard to calorie burn.
Sweating is your body's cooling mechanism.

People sweat sitting on a park bench.

JSTBECUZ99 Posts: 81
12/14/12 3:12 P

1GROVES2 - It can be difficult to track the actual calories you have burnt without using a HRM. While I don't dispute that you can burn calories by doing housework, I can see the purpose of not tracking the calories. We burn calories all day long from doing ordinary things but unless its something out of the "norm" for you such as scrubbing walls, I do not think I would count it. We as spark members should feel that we can discuss things in the message boards without being ridiculed and I'm sorry that it happened to you on your previous posting. If we cannot feel comfortable to discuss things with other people going through the same things, then where can we feel comfortable to discuss these matters? Do not allow the negativity of a few people prevent you from bringing up a topic that you need to discuss. After all, you will find more support then if you didn't ask the questions and just wondered.

NEWTINK SparkPoints: (121,617)
Fitness Minutes: (152,646)
Posts: 6,846
12/14/12 10:53 A

i read an article that defined exercise as anything done consistent for more than 10 minutes .. So when i am doing housework I count it as exercise .. There has been deep cleaning or housework on since the beginning when I joined .. So tell the rude ones to step off lol

N16351D Posts: 2,349
12/14/12 10:51 A

I work up a sweat when on my hands and knees scrubbing my floors, or when vacuming our carpets. I work up a sweat when I scrubbing the tub takes 10 minutes (that's when it is really bad!), or when going up and down the stairs innumerable times in a day.
No one can tell me that is not exercise.

But when I read the previous post and saw that wrapping gifts for 30 minutes burned on average 48 calories, I was more than surprised! I wrapped gifts for four hours last Tuesday! I probably burned around 400 calories doing that, according to the article by Nichols. But I am hard pressed to call wrapping gifts exercise, since most of the time I am standing there and my fingers, hands, and arms are doing the moving!

This is an interesting topic!

1GROVES2 Posts: 10,391
12/14/12 10:03 A

Here is today`s "Editors Choice".....These are even non activitities!
Am I confused? You Bet!.......(read my original post and some of the comments I got!)
So this 2 days this week that the Editor`s choice has been burning calories with everyday activities and housework! So....

Burn Off Holiday Calories!

25 Ideas, No Gym Time Required

-- By Nicole Nichols, Personal Trainer

Well, if you’re like most "normal" Americans, you’ve probably bitten off more than you can chew when it comes to responsibilities. So, here’s a list of common holiday activities and the number of calories they burn. Realistically, you can keep your caloric intake in check (by keeping portions small and making healthier recipe substitutions), and by adding up these common activities—like cooking and cleaning—you can still burn a hefty sum of calories without setting foot in the gym.

Bathing dog (to look and smell pretty for guests!): 15 minutes = 56 calories
Wrapping gifts or making crafts (hello party favors): 30 minutes = 48
Bagging grass & leaves: 30 minutes = 127 calories
Light baking (of all your favorite treats): 1 hour = 159 calories
Tending bar for guests (not drinking it yourself!): 1 hour = 146 calories
Changing bed linens (for the out-of-towners): 15 minutes = 40 calories
Loading & Unloading the car (suitcases, groceries, kids): 10 minutes = 32 calories
Carrying groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Taking out Trash: 2 minutes = 5 calories
Carrying wood or lumber (Marshmallows not included): 5 minutes = 26 calories
General to Heavy house cleaning: 1 hour = 191 calories
Wrapping gifts or making crafts (hello party favors): 30 minutes = 48
Bagging grass & leaves: 30 minutes = 127 calories
Light baking (of all your favorite treats): 1 hour = 159 calories
Tending bar for guests (not drinking it yourself!): 1 hour = 146 calories
Changing bed linens (for the out-of-towners): 15 minutes = 40 calories
Loading & Unloading the car (suitcases, groceries, kids): 10 minutes = 32 calories
Carrying groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories
Taking out Trash: 2 minutes = 5 calories
Carrying wood or lumber (Marshmallows not included): 5 minutes = 26 calories
General to Heavy house cleaning: 1 hour = 191 calories
Clearing dishes from the table: 5 minutes = 13 calories

COMEONMA Posts: 3,509
12/14/12 8:16 A

The only housework I count is something that I decide will be a workout and not cleaning, like raking the leaves, shoveling the snow or gardening. Inside, if I stop what I'm doing and take a dance break, or decide to do the stairs 10 times to get a few minutes in, sometimes I add that, but most of what I do inside I just think of as free calorie burn.

When I first started though, I counted it just to feel like I was making an effort. As my efforts increased, I only gave myself credit for the things I mentioned. I needed to see numbers early on that kept me motivated and interested in trying to exercise more, so it worked. As I got much more active, I became more selective in what I counted, but I was also doing things like 50 minute walk/runs on the canal, which I never did early on.

MAYBER SparkPoints: (120,147)
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Posts: 9,764
12/13/12 9:00 P

Do count my daily work around the house as exercise
Sometimes can go up and down stairs ten times if doing the laundry
Bathing and dressing my DH is a workout
Vacuuming is a workout clean all the rooms and vacuum one after the other without stopping that is exercise
Think any movement that makes you feel good is exercise
One day at a time

Edited by: MAYBER at: 12/13/2012 (21:01)
12/13/12 12:21 P

Here is what I do...maybe this will help. I set my ipod on the dock to a 20 minute timer. I work just as hard as I can to the beat of the music for that 20 minutes and I don't stop. I go up and down stairs, vacuum, put away dishes, etc...I am only 5 feet tall, so putting away dishes means climbing up and down off a step stool.

CATHGREEN8 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (19,112)
Posts: 108
12/13/12 12:13 P

If I get sweaty and my heart rate goes up..I do track it as exercise as it also takes up time that I would have been exercising. For some of us beginners who mostly walk for exercise, lively vacuuming is certainly comparable. Additionally, there are a jillion stairs in my house..if I am schlepping laundry up multiple flights..I count it.

But I am also a slacker who hates housework... So counting it as some of my activity keeps me in the game.

12/13/12 10:48 A

Bear in mind people on the message board don't represent SP just our own opinions. When you ask for an opinion you are likly to get 200 different answers. As with most things take what people feel with a grain of salt do your own research and do what you feel is right for you. That's the great thing about SP you get to take from it what you feel is best for you and your lifestyle.

12/13/12 9:48 A

I think you have to do what you think is right. I've seen many places and articles where they recommend adding housework as an exercise or adding exercise into the housework. Personally, I only add something if it is outside the realm of what I normally do and it gets my heartrate up. The day I spent 3 hours shovelling snow after a large snowfall for example did get counted. You'll know what the right answer is for you. emoticon

1GROVES2 Posts: 10,391
12/13/12 9:41 A

Ok, I was asking about time consuming/heavy deep cleaning, not everyday housework. When I line dry my laundry, I work on laundry for hours and when I washed my car, I spent over 2 hours and believe me my heart rate was up. The article I referred to (not me)was mentioning cleaning the tub ,vacuuming counting as exercise. I have googled the activities I was referring to and saw a reasonable amount to calculate.

As for the name of the article, I do not recall, but it was the Editor`s Choice sometime probably between 12/07-12/12.

I was just so surprised when I saw the article after the rude/condescending remarks I received after my original question (which by the way was a few months ago, but I was rudely treated I remembered the post.) Yes it was a another member, but the SP coach, she backed up the nasty poster and treated me like I was totally ignorant, not very nice. That ,akes it hard for me to ask a question, so I usually just stay on the game message boards.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (930)
Posts: 124
12/13/12 9:41 A

Was the point of this post just to express bitterness? Because if that is the case you succeeded.

If you posted the question on the message boards you were getting responses from members. SP members are not the same people that write the articles. I am not really sure where the inconsistency comes in.

I'd imagine deep cleaning is something that you've done fairly regularly for your entire life. If you're looking for a healthier lifestyle change then why count something as exercise when it's something you've always done as a part of your normal routine? Others have presented some challenges. How would you track it accurately?

If you want to count cleaning as exercise go right ahead. No one can stop you, but is counting that really helping you in the long run? I'm not so sure it is.

BRYNNET SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,833)
Posts: 44
12/13/12 9:25 A

Somewhere else I read that things like cleaning are part of NEAT: Non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

So, as far as I'm concerned, yes it helps most definitely in raising the metabolism. I don't try to track it in the fitness tracker though, but I do try to get in more activity on a daily basis, like standing more, walking the stairs more often, things like that.
And some cleaning chores most certainly make me sweat. (But nowadays I feel good when I sweat, instead of pitying myself for all my hard work and how tired it makes me.)

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,276)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
12/13/12 1:09 A

I agree with the idea of considering it just "bonus", uncounted calories expended UNLESS your heart rate goes up high enough and stays there for a while. If you are running up and down the stairs to get laundry done, you can MAKE it exercise. (I do this sometimes - take up one or two things at a time, then come back down. It's not much, but it can be plenty!)

If you don't have a heart rate monitor, I'd use more physical signs - if you are sweaty and short of breath from vigorous sweeping, count the time!

And if you have the money, those FitBit's or BodyBuggs or whatever can help you get a better idea. NY Times did a review of a few on the market last January :

PSAPPEN Posts: 243
12/12/12 9:38 P

I was concerned about this too for a while. For me, housework feels like exercise. When you are obese any kind of physical exertion can count as exercise, since it takes quite a bit of work to get those extra pounds moving. It is hard to track though.

If you have an HRM you could wear it and see how much your heart rate goes up during your housework activities. There is a way to track calories burned on the fitness tracker for any activity. You would click on the link "Enter your own exercise" under the search button. One thing you would definitely want to notice while using the HRM is how high is your heart rate getting - if it's below 60% of your max you may not want to count it as exercise.

12/12/12 9:08 P

Housework is most definitely a workout. Any one who says it isn't doesn't know the definition of heavy housework. It isn't like you are comparing it to simply dusting the house.

Edited by: PAXTONBLUE at: 12/12/2012 (21:09)
INAFFIT319 SparkPoints: (12,340)
Fitness Minutes: (4,533)
Posts: 264
12/12/12 8:44 P

I think house work IS exercise, but like others have said it's too difficult to track, and it is hard to keep your heart rate up for very long. I read that article, too...and really liked it. BUT, I see most of the activities they listed as BONUS exercise. Exercise that I wouldn't necessarily track, but would certainly help me burn some bonus calories.

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
12/12/12 8:44 P

I would not consider house work as exersice. You don't break a sweat when you do it. Your heart rate doesn't go up much. I don't want to cheat myself by counting it. A real workout is breaking a sweat, working out hard enough to get you moving and getting that exersice high.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
Posts: 9,717
12/12/12 8:40 P

You can certainly consider it exercise... but the problem comes when you try to *track* household chores (especially the sorts of t hings you do frequently) as exercise in your tracker. Tracking an hour of line-drying your clothes, for example, could give you grossly inflated calorie burns.

It's fine to do them, but I personalyl prefer to track only purposeful exercise. Everyone does housework, but it doesn't really increase our fitness level.

Sparkpeople already includes a daily active living modifier, so you don't need to track it, anyway.

LUANN_IN_PA Posts: 26,705
12/12/12 2:31 P

I don't count cleaning as exercise.. it is part of my daily activities, so it is already calculated into my calories on Spark.
Counting it twice would just be cheating me!

Besides, I really cannot say that when I clean a tub it takes 10 whole minutes and that my heart rate is very high. Definitely not exercise for me.

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,915
12/12/12 2:11 P

Anything that gets your heart rate up into the cardio zone for at least 10 minutes at a time can be considered "exercise". The problem with most housework is that it involves a lot of stopping and starting, and can't continually keep your heart rate up high enough. If there are tasks you're doing that do keep yours up, then I think you could count them. If you could point us in the direction where you saw the info about housecleaning, I can make sure that we're being consistent in our message.


Coach Jen

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (82,009)
Fitness Minutes: (48,676)
Posts: 5,092
12/12/12 1:58 P

I'm going to assume that you were told this by SP members, not by the coaches or the people who write the articles. You asked a question on the message boards and got answers from members. It is too bad that some people were rude about it, but that's what happens on a message board sometimes. But anyway, some people think cleaning can be considered exercised, others disagree. Personally, I don't consider housecleaning or chores exercise. I hauled and snacked firewood for 7 hours last Tuesday but didn't enter it into my fitness tracker and went for a run on top of that, which I counted as my exercise for the day. If you want to consider it exercise, then that's your choice. But I would suggest doing some light exercise on top of the chores if you can, like going for a walk, pilates, yoga, etc. Like the PP said, it's difficult to calculate how many calories you burned doing these chores. I would think that the estimates would be over.

Edited by: KRISTEN_SAYS at: 12/12/2012 (14:00)
DMJAKES Posts: 1,635
12/12/12 1:54 P

I don't recall seeing your original post, but IMO it would be difficult to calculate how many calories were burned during such tasks. For example, how long does it take to scrub a tub? The only thing really moving are your arms, and that's only for a few minutes. I guess if you'd been completely sedentary before, it could count for something.

I would only consider counting something where my movement/exertion was constant, or close to it, and I was worn out when I was done---like using a manual pushmower or shoveling rock for an hour. Even then, I think I'd just consider it "bonus" time and let it go.

Just my .02

1GROVES2 Posts: 10,391
12/12/12 12:16 P

A while back I post a question about adding deep cleaning housework to my fitness tracker and was told that house work was not an exercise....very rudely told, I might add. I said not regular chores, but handwashing my car, line drying my clothes, cleaning closets, etc and wad told" go ahead and sabotage yourself, because none of that is exercise".....extremely rude the second time....
Anyway, I just read an article on SP about getting your exercise in and house work! was one of them....and it was using vacuuming, tub cleaning, oven cleaning (what I consider regular chore) as examples! ...uh...why is OK now?....can SP be a little consistant with anything?

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