Okay, so housework burns calories. So does sleeping. You’re alive, you burn calories, but housework will not make obese women leaner or fitter.

It’s true that cleaning house requires energy, but it is not an effective strategy for getting and staying physically fit and healthy.

While some fitness experts (and even medical professionals) like to offer the “do housework” as an exercise alternative, obese women who employ such a strategy will continue to fail in meeting their fitness and health goals, unless they engage in other calorie-burning and structured exercise activities that amount to a real workout.

Cleaning House Is Activity for Obese Women, But…

Extra housework can actually be a stepping stone to getting a very morbidly heavy individual off the sofa or even out of bed, as it creates more movement than they’re normally used to, and will get the blood circulating. But it’s a small stepping stone, and that’s all.

Obese Women Can’t Get Physically Fit or Healthy only with Housework

First, let it be pointed out that maintaining a clean house is an activity that all individuals should engage in anyway. It’s a constant.

Living in a dirty house can add to depression, heightened stress and low-self-esteem, which can lead to increased eating and lack of motivation for structured workouts or athletic activities, which leads to even more excess weight added to one’s body.

The smart, effective approach is to keep your home cleaned and then hit the gym (or home workout devices) for the muscle toning and aerobic workouts that will bring you a transformed physique.


Cleaning house cannot possibly duplicate the cardiorespiratory effects that structured cardiovascular exercise, especially that of interval training, can.

Do not believe this for a single moment.

Interval training is when you alternate brief high effort exertion with casual pacing.

Cleaning house is a good habit to keep, but not for attaining fat loss, physical fitness or good health.

A woman with obesity who’s serious about getting healthy, physically fit and losing bodyfat needs to think beyond the vacuum and washcloths, and embrace structured strength training and cardio exercise.

Pictured below are examples of exercises that will really help you lose weight.

Shutterstock/Aleksey Boyko







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Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 



Top image: Shutterstock/Nomad_Soul