Fit Chic NYC’s Blog

Exercise in Everyday Activities: Cleaning

One of my co-workers is convinced he can market his YogaCleaningilates as the next new hot fitness class, when really he just wants people to come clean his apartment! But who knows though, with moves like the squat and mop, shoulder press and window wipe, and push-up and dust, maybe he’s on to something!

So to help boost his class enrollment beyond just himself, I decided to help him out by showing everyone just how much of a calorie scorcher cleaning the apartment can be. (Check out my other post about how many calories you can burn by moving apartments.)

Calorie estimates are provided by and are for 15 minutes of each activity:

Sweeping the floors: 39 calories

Washing windows: 34 calories

Mopping: 43 calories

Dusting: 26 calories

Taking out the trash: 26 calories

Straightening up: 26 calories

Scrubbing the bathroom: 48 calories

Washing dishes: 22 calories

Vacuuming: 43 calories

Making the bed: 17 calories

Doing laundry: 17 calories

Total for cleaning his apartment, eh I mean taking a class of YogaCleaningilates – 341 calories!


Budget workout: Stair climbing

Bouncing off my last post – this year fitness is going primal (use what’s around you) and budget-friendly – and here’s a perfect example: STAIRS.

Yeah you’ve heard it before, take the stairs instead of the elevator and park your car further away from the front door so you have to walk that extra bit. It all seems minuscule but it really does add up! And in their recent revisions of exercise recommendations, the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association recommend these short bursts of exercise to help in maintaining/losing weight and staying physically fit.

But why stairs? Well first of all they are everywhere – do you live in a two story home, walk up apartment (or one that’s below the 10th floor)? Great, consider this a free workout. If you live in NYC there are not only events such as the annual Empire State Building run up, but I hear some of the subway station entrances can be pretty brutal climbs as well (such as the Lexington and 59th Street stop). If you live on the coast, climb the lighthouses, I’ve climbed two in Florida so far! Using natural stairs not only budget-friendly, but environmentally-friendly as well! But if the climate and/or terrain doesn’t allow, incorporate the stair climber at your local gym into your weekly cardio routine.

Incorporating stair climbing into your daily routine will help whip you into shape. As opposed to other types of cardio, stair climbing not only gets your heart rate up but it’s great for toning the quads. WORKOUT TIP: When I stair climb I work in intervals. I’ll alternate between one minute at a faster pace taking one stair at a time, and one minute at a slower pace, taking the stairs two at a time and adding a kickback with the opposite leg to target my glutes.

In a great article written by The New York Times, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise Cedric Bryant was quoted saying that “Stair climbing will give you a little more bang for your buck because of the vertical component,” and that it  “will be a bit more challenging and therefore allow you to burn more calories for that same amount of time” (as opposed to running or the elliptical).

Tips for the perfect climb:

  • Use proper posture – a comfortable upright position with minimal upper body involvement. Arm support should be used for stability and balance purposes only, not to  support your trunk. Basically, don’t slouch.
  • Place your entire foot on the stair with each step, unless you’re trying to tip-toe up. 
  • If you’re using stairs outside of the gym be smart and safe about your location. Don’t climb the stairs of an empty garage late at night.

Move it, move it
February 21, 2009, 4:03 PM
Filed under: Fitness, NYC life | Tags: , , , ,

After a long month of apartment hunting, I’m finally moving next week. While attempting to carry home a few empty boxes and a couple of leftover newspapers from work a few nights ago, my arms felt like they were going to fall off! I literally thought there was a fire building and waiting to explode from inside my biceps. And mind you, it’s only a seven minute walk to my apartment from work.

This got me thinking… this whole moving process is going to burn some serious calories (hopefully)! The body burns calories by functioning alone (i.e. breathing, digesting food) and you also burn calories performing normal daily functions like washing the dishes and even sitting in front of the TV. While it’s a nominal amount and doesn’t take the place of exercise, every little bit helps!

S0, inspired to do a little research, I was able to come up with an estimation of how many calories I’m going to burn just by packing my room, cleaning my apartment and moving – then doing it all over again while unpacking – thanks to the calculations I found at

Sweeping floors, 15 minutes: 34 calories
Washing dishes, 15 minutes: 22 calories
Vacuuming, 30 minutes: 60 calories
Packing suitcase, 2 hour: 120 calories
Moving furniture and household items, 2 hours: 590 calories
Scrubbing floors/bathtubs, 30 minutes: 82 calories
Packing/unpacking boxes light to moderate effort, 4 hours: 592 calories
Putting away household items, moderate effort, 2 hours: 236 calories

… So give or take, I’m looking at burning around 1,736 calories next Friday. Not shabby for a workout that’s guaranteed not to be boring! And honestly, after all the stress I’ve had from this whole ordeal, it’ll be nice to reap some extra benefits. To bad I never want to move again!