“You might not think of housework as exercise,” says Will Johnson, general manager of Merry Maids of Prince William, Culpeper and Fauquier Counties. “But almost all of our maids say they lose weight when they are cleaning houses.”
According to most fitness experts, you can burn about 170 calories just doing an hour of light, normal housework: things like taking out the trash and doing laundry. Since lack of physical activity is a leading cause of heart disease, this means that a clean home is where a healthy heart is.
In honor of February, National Heart Month, Merry Maids of Prince William, Culpeper and Fauquier Counties has teamed up with the American Heart Association for Go Red For Women. Every Friday in February, team members will be wearing “Go Red” t-shirts to raise awareness about heart disease, which is the number one killer of women in America. Merry Maids of Prince William, Culpeper and Fauquier Counties will also be donating $1 to the American Heart Association for every new “like” they receive on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MerryMaidsNorthernPiedmont.
In addition, Merry Maid of Prince William, Culpeper and Fauquier Counties has put together the following pro-cardio cleaning tips for a clean home and a healthy heart.
• Work “Hearter,” Not Harder: Try to think like a fitness pro when you clean. By squatting and reaching a little further as you tackle your daily chores, you can work different muscle groups and burn more calories.
• Dust (and Bust) a Move: Play some upbeat music to keep you grooving at moderate intensity and raise your heart rate to about 50-70 percent of maximum while you clean. The goal is to be able to carry on a conversation but be a bit too breathless to sing.
• Suck It Up: A 150 pound woman can burn about 250 calories an hour by vacuuming, sweeping or mopping…and the more you weigh, the more you can burn. To get the most benefit, work muscle groups on both sides of your body by switching arms frequently and exaggerating your movements.
• Wax On/Wax Off: Just like the Karate Kid, when you dust or scrub, don’t just use your forearm and hand, but your entire shoulder. Wipe in concentric circles until the muscles start to burn, and then switch arms.
• A Clear Advantage: You can burn about 200 calories per hour cleaning windows, while getting a great workout for your arms and back. Want to make it even more effective? Add some squats to the mix.
Johnson recommends you dedicate at least twenty minutes to your cleaning workout to get the most heart healthy benefit, not to mention great cleaning results. “The satisfaction you get from a job well done can also do your heart good,” he says.
For more information about Merry Maids of Prince William, Culpeper and Fauquier Counties and their partnership with Go Red For Women, please call 703-584-4086.