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TOPIC: Thoughts about burning calories by cleaning?

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May 7, 2012 10:12 AM
I don't mean to bash the stay-at-home moms who have a hard time establishing an official workout time, but sometimes when I see how many calories some people burn by putting "cleaning, moderate effort" into their diary it makes me feel like all the sweat pouring off of me when I jog at night is for nothing.
I have also heard from numerous people that myfitnesspal tends to overestimate calories burned on many exercises.
So, how do you feel about having "cleaning" as an exercise? Do you think it really burns that many calories?
May 7, 2012 10:15 AM
I only use the cleaning calories burned when I am doing spring cleaning or heavy duty on your knees scrubbing and stuff. General day to day cleaning I don't count. I use these also because I have my activity level set to sedentry and don't want to dip too far below net calories of 1200. Gardening and raking I also use. I do go to the gym 5 days a week and get a good burn there as well.
  12691054
May 7, 2012 10:17 AM
I don't think many of the activities MFP lists burn anywhere near the calories they claim, but I just lower the time to whatever I feel I was actually putting significant effort into it, rounded down a bit.

For example, in the garden yesterday, I was digging up rows. That's 15 minutes of intense labor followed by 5-10 minutes of standing in the shade sweating and drinking water. I spent 3 hours, I logged an hour and a half. I really think I burned MORE calories than I came up with using that method, but the entry was "gardening - general" and I know I wouldn't have spent nearly as much effort running strings for the peas to grow on, or planting seeds (which I didn't count at all).

I think guesstimating it the way I do works pretty well. I'm losing weight at the pace I set, so something's gotta be working right. :)
  20407831
May 7, 2012 10:17 AM
i swept and mopped all my floors, gave my dog a bath and cleaned the shower the other day. i put that in! not normal day to day stuff though. of course i don't normally clean day to day ;)
  3439209
May 7, 2012 10:19 AM
If it's routine cleaning, then I don't log it. But if I'm getting down and dirty with major cleaning, the I will put it in. If I'm sweating from cleaning, then it's worth logging lol
  19614385
May 7, 2012 10:20 AM
I add cleaning into my exercise regiment. But I don't consider a wipe down of the countertop to be cleaning. I'm talking about getting on my hands and knees, taking out heavy bags of garbage, using the vacuum in the whole place. By the time I'm done, I'm dripping with sweat.
  2789939
May 7, 2012 10:21 AM
I'm of the opinion that MFP consistently and drastically overestimates calorie burn. I never count activities as "exercise" unless they are actually exercise. I consider everything else...well....life.....

Note, I'm sure you burn plenty of calories stripping your floor varnish or re-grouting your tub...I just personally don't consider it "exercise".
May 7, 2012 10:21 AM
I don't put in housecleaning, not even when I scrub the floors. The only time I'd be tempted would be if I were moving furniture around, and for long enough amount of time for it to count. Ditto gardening. When I am loading mulch in the trailer, unloading to the wheelbarrow and pushing, dumping and spreading it in the flower beds, that's exercise. Otherwise, it's part of my ordinary, everyday life.
May 7, 2012 10:23 AM
i agree with ATLMel

it is better to underestimate the amount of calories you are burning. overestimation will just cause you to lose confidence in your routine (when you don't lose as much weight as MFP is suggesting you'll lose).
  14940807
May 7, 2012 10:38 AM
I agree with all of you! There is a definite difference between laboring in your cleaning and just tidying around the house, and I'm glad that now I don't have to feel like I'm going crazy.
Wishing you all the best of luck! Sounds like you're all doing awesome :)
May 7, 2012 10:39 AM
I do if I wear my HRM. :)
  2221724
May 7, 2012 10:40 AM
If I'm sweeping, scrubbing the tub, and vacuuming for an hour you can bet I'm logging it. Lugging that vacuum up 4 flights etc. So...depends on the person but I always log yard work and house cleaning. You can bet I'm breaking a sweat.

Oh and yes, I do workout at the gym too.
  3995337
May 7, 2012 10:41 AM
QUOTE:

I don't put in housecleaning, not even when I scrub the floors. The only time I'd be tempted would be if I were moving furniture around, and for long enough amount of time for it to count. Ditto gardening. When I am loading mulch in the trailer, unloading to the wheelbarrow and pushing, dumping and spreading it in the flower beds, that's exercise. Otherwise, it's part of my ordinary, everyday life.


i agree completely.
May 7, 2012 10:42 AM
If I list cleaning as an activity, because sometimes I help one of my friends in her house cleaning business, I only use half the minutes because the amount of calories it says you burn is astronomical. But also, when I clean for other people, it is very vigorous work. smile
  11029919
May 7, 2012 10:44 AM
QUOTE:

I don't mean to bash the stay-at-home moms who have a hard time establishing an official workout time, but sometimes when I see how many calories some people burn by putting "cleaning, moderate effort" into their diary it makes me feel like all the sweat pouring off of me when I jog at night is for nothing.
I have also heard from numerous people that myfitnesspal tends to overestimate calories burned on many exercises.
So, how do you feel about having "cleaning" as an exercise? Do you think it really burns that many calories?


Just curious, and I really don't mean this in a mean way, but why do you care what other people list on their diary? You show you have lost 28 lbs. I say congrats to you and don't worry abou t those other people.
  6061830
May 7, 2012 10:44 AM
Why would someone who tracks cleaning as part of their exercise routine negate the "sweat pouring off of you"? Why do you care? If YOU aren't counting them, how does it affect you? Other than allowing you to affect a superiority complex about it, of course? If people want to count cleaning as exercise, I don't care. I don't do it, but that's MY approach. More power to them if they want to...doesn't affect my net for the day.
  17953020
May 7, 2012 10:44 AM
I will list cleaning only when I am doing something out of the norm. When I clean at work or when I clean my kids rooms, I log it.
  15059117
May 7, 2012 10:45 AM
The only time I count cleaning is when I’m doing the floors. Vigorous sweeping, mopping and vacuuming is a full-body workout for me. It takes me over an hour, but I never count more than 30 minutes of it.

Otherwise, I never count anything other than intentional exercise as exercise.
  20022190
May 7, 2012 10:45 AM
I'm a part time housekeeper at the Atlantic Club and I work 12 hour shifts. So when I have to "detail" for those 12 hours, yes, I put in the calories burned because I'm constantly on my hands and needs scrubing.
May 7, 2012 10:45 AM
I never clean.... And by never...I mean...I get anxiety attacks trying....unless I'm getting paid. My mom is paying me to clean her house today & tomorrow. I've had on my HRM and have burned 607 in 2.5 hrs. Yes MFP estimates are off. Ifni use them, I normally reduce the time by 1/3. That seems to be close to what I would get on my HRM. So yeah...cleaning counts!!
  9049388
May 7, 2012 10:45 AM
My rule for logging ANY exercise: IF it makes you breathe heavy and sweat, then log it!

Then again, I have a desk job, if I were doing this for a living I wouldn't have my profile set on sedentary.
Edited by fbmandy55 On May 7, 2012 10:47 AM
  4001156
May 7, 2012 10:45 AM
I don't log my cleaning when I clean my apartment. But I do log it when I go and clean two office buildings. It's usually hot in there when I'm cleaning and I'm having to do a TON of cleaning as I go in twice a month. I don't ever log the full 3 1/2 hours i'm there...I only log around an hour.

So that way it will probably be closer to what I'm actually burning.

But like I said I only log my cleaning twice a month. :)
  2238760
May 7, 2012 10:46 AM
While I think that MFP over estimates the calories burned, when I clean my house the heaviest (which is Monday because I do not clean during the weekends lol) I am on my feet, sweeping, wiping, scrubbing, mopping, picking up moving boxes trash and vacuuming... No offense to the people who do go out for a jog etc but I just don't have that since my husband is gone sometimes weeks at a time. I go for walks etc, but moving constantly throughout my house is def a workout, (I.E it raises my heart rate and I sweat) I just really don't think that it burns as much as MFP says. so I tend to lower my time to what seems normal and if that is the only exercise I do that day I only eat back half the cals.
May 7, 2012 10:46 AM
I'm set at sedentary, because during the work-week I sit at a desk ALL DAY. So on the weekend (or after work) when I'm hustling around the house trying to get stuff done, I log it. I don't think I really "burned” all the calories it says I did. But I am up and moving around more than usual.
  18456087
May 7, 2012 10:47 AM
I would only do it if I did spring cleaning!!...other wise I don't!! :)
  16556021

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