How your seasonal chores count toward your fitness goals (CBS News)

Posted: Oct 28, 2023 in In the News

This article originally appeared in CBS News Pittsburgh on October 28, 2023.


How your seasonal chores count toward your fitness goals

(CNN) — Editor's note: Dana Santas, known as the "Mobility Maker," is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and mind-body coach in professional sports, and is the author of the book "Practical Solutions for Back Pain Relief."

As the seasons change so do some of your inside and outside chores, especially if you live in a four-season climate. For those in the northern United States, heading into autumn usually means raking leaves, packing up summer clothes, and pulling coats and other warmer clothes out of storage.

Regardless of climate, many people decorate their homes and landscapes for fall and the upcoming holidays, so lugging boxed decorations out of storage and spending time decorating is on many folks' seasonal agendas.

What a lot of people don't realize is that those seasonal chores are functional exercises that can burn more calories than some traditional fitness activities. In fact, raking leaves can burn more calories in an hour than a brisk walk or weight training session.

What's more, because seasonal chores, like raking, are considered moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise, time spent preparing for the fall season counts toward the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.

Calculate and track the calorie burn of your seasonal chores

According to the physical activity calorie calculator on the American Council on Exercise's website, a person with a body weight of 170 pounds (77 kilograms) would burn 308 calories doing an hour of yard work, such as raking. Comparatively, walking briskly at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour burns only 293 calories for that same 170-pound person. For those focused on indoor seasonal chores, using the same body-weight metric, an hour of housework at 231 calories is the equivalent of an hour of basic weight training.

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