This old fat house – how to lose weight fixing up your home

Bryan Clayton of GreenPal, sort of an online app for getting your lawn mowed, contacted me about the positive health benefits of doing fix-it work around your house.

I pointed out the irony to Bryan of a business that helps someone ELSE mow your lawn giving people advice on doing their own work around the house :)

But Bryan’s advice is sound, and I thought the graphic he made, showing the various calories burned shoveling snow, spreading dirt in your garden, etc., would make for interesting weekend viewing, so with no further ado, here’s Bryan on why you should get out there and do more work around your house.

home-maintenaceIt is January. You have a list of things you want to complete on the house this year, and you have a goal of losing weight at the gym. For the first few weeks, you go to the gym on a regular basis in an effort to lose weight. You are not doing home maintenance yet, not until March when the weather warms, but you keep going to the gym until February, when your drive peters out and you let it slide. Another resolution has bit the dust.

You begin doing home improvement projects around the house and the yard, and you keep losing weight. Your muscle mass is going up, and you feel good about yourself.

You stopped going to the gym months ago, but you still feel like you are working out. How can this be?

The simple answer is home improvement.

Most people who go to the gym and pay for a gym membership don’t even realize they can get the same workout at home, improving their home and making money by increasing the value of their house.

Did you know that if you build a fence or do carpentry around the house, you can burn 340 calories in one hour? Multiply that over ten hours and you have 3,400 calories burned. If you are thinking of roofing this year, you can burn the same amount of calories. Laying down carpet? That burns 238 calories per hour, as does sanding floors with a power sander. Even if you need to do some rewiring or plumbing, you are burning 136 calories per hour.

Think about that over the course of the year. Add in maintenance like raking leaves, washing a fence, shoveling snow and mowing a lawn, and you have tens of thousands of calories burned.
So, the question is, why waste money at the gym when you could be getting healthy at home?

(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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14 Responses to “This old fat house – how to lose weight fixing up your home”

  1. sane37 says:

    I lifted one latte after curling a danish.

  2. Silver_Witch says:

    Actually I had like three years of plumbing, mowing, wiring, drywall hanging and snow shoveling and never lost a pound because I was STARVING after the work…and felt I had earned that food. Never worked so hard in my life and never was healthier.

    Since stopping that and now renting I walk to work and do push ups on the park benches lost 50 pounds and felt GREAT,

  3. Silver_Witch says:

    -5 Calories burned there Karmanot…if you did 20 bench presses with the croissants!!!

  4. karmanot says:


  5. Naja pallida says:

    That’s about the speed of my exercise program too.

  6. karmanot says:

    I bench pressed two chocolate croissants and a double lattle no foam this morning.

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  8. The_Fixer says:

    This is all very fine and good in theory, but in practice…

    If you make your way through any suburban subdivision, you’ll see any number of big-bellied guys doing any or all of these activities. Why do they have big bellies? They reward themselves with several tall, frosty several beers during and afterward for a “job well done.”

    They get the added benefit of beer-addled home improvement projects. I know, the former owner of the place I live in now had a built-in beer tapper set up for a quarter-barrel. You have no idea the kinds of things I’ve found here as a result of his imbibing.

    He did a remodel of the main bathroom, which involved relocating the toilet and shower. The drain system that he cooked up to accomodate this switcheroo looked like one of those spiral waterslides at a water park.

    Then there was a stud he made out of scrap stud cuttings. He could have bought a new one at the time for about a dollar, but figured that nailing several small scraps together with any nail he could find (including roofing nails and what looked like railroad spikes) was better somehow.

    The list goes on. It would have been funny if I hadn’t been the one who had to undo all of this crap.

  9. The_Fixer says:

    The real question is: how many calories does receiving oral sex consume?

  10. Henry Owen says:

    John, are you still needing to see examples of bars that pop-up at the bottom of the screen?

  11. nicho says:

    And if you have sex with the gardner, then sex with the pool guy, and then sex with the plumber, you’re killing two birds with one stone.

  12. Indigo says:

    Uh-huh. Meanwhile, the junior olympic pool at the gym is waiting for me and I’ll be in the sauna afterwards. Thanks anyhow.

  13. Dr. Woof says:

    Or, there is the alternative:
    Kissing: 68 calories per hour
    Giving Oral Sex: 100 calories per half-hour
    Having Sex: 144+ calories per half-hour

    Granted, most of these don’t burn as many calories as what is listed above, however I’m guessing people just might be inclined to do them more often…

  14. Drew2u says:

    Cute, but other than washing, painting, and trimming/mowing, most of these ideas are 1-off activities. How often does one usually need to wire or plumb in a given year? Or for that matter, have enough of a lawn to push-mow it for an hour?
    Really, if people don’t want to spend money on a gym membership, there are plenty of bodyweight exercises out there.
    Still though, thanks for the levity this morning! Perfect for my whipped cream covered pancakes because Keto’s a bitch.

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