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1 CLEANING THE WINDOWS AND DOORS
Calories burnt in an hour:
200
You’ll work these: Shoulders, latissimus muscles, biceps and triceps.
Maximise your efforts! Perform the chore with a wider range of arm movements (use long sweeping motions, for example). Squat to clean the lower parts of doors instead of bending over. Put more effort into each stroke to tone and strengthen your arms and shoulders.

2 IRONING
Calories burnt in an hour: 140
You’ll work these: Pectorals, shoulders, biceps, triceps and obliques.
Maximise your efforts! Whether you prefer to sit or stand while ironing, don’t hunch over the ironing board. Instead, keep your posture straight and your abs tucked in, to strengthen the core part of your body.

3 WASHING THE CAR
Calories burnt in an hour: 250
You’ll work these: Upper and lower back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps and legs. Maximise your efforts! Standing on tiptoe when washing the roof of your car tones your calves and the backs of your thighs. To tone your arms, use long, sweeping strokes. Instead of bending over to clean the wheels and rims, squat as this strengthens your inner thighs.

4 SWEEPING OR VACUUMING, FOLLOWED BY MOPPING
Calories burnt in an hour: 170 for sweeping and vacuuming, 300 for mopping.
You’ll work these: Chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, obliques, lower back and legs.
Maximise your efforts! With your hands on the broom or mop, rotate your arms 10 times clockwise and 10 times anticlockwise when you’re done sweeping or mopping. To shed even more calories, get down on your hands and knees, and mop smaller rooms with a cloth.

5 SCRUBBING THE BATHROOM FLOOR AND TILES
Calories burnt in an hour: 270
You’ll work these: Chest, legs, shoulders, biceps and triceps.
Maximise your efforts! Aim to do a thorough job – make sure you scrub every corner and between the tiles. The harder and faster you scrub, the more calories you burn. Work your inner thighs by squatting to clean the lower part of the walls, instead of bending over.

6 MAKING THE BEDS
Calories burnt in an hour: 140
You’ll work these: Upper back, chest, lower back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs.
Maximise your efforts! Putting on a flat sheet instead of a fitted sheet requires greater effort, so it will burn more calories. Maintain good posture throughout to keep your core abdominal muscles engaged, and to prevent unnecessary strain. Squat to tuck in the sheets instead of bending over.

This article was first published in January 2014.