Schlepping: The Ultimate Urban Workout

Schlepping: The Ultimate Urban Workout

Tess Wilson
Aug 6, 2012

I love living in a city, I love not having a car (not even a license), and I love walking, but sometimes it feels like the schlepping never ends. When I'm plodding home carrying my own weight in library books, gym gear, and groceries, I try to remind myself what a fabulous workout I'm getting — it makes me feel a little more like a badass, and a little less like a pack mule.

How much stuff do you lug around every day? I seem to carry a lot. I always have my gym or swim bag with me (I go before or after work), I often stop by the library after work (they only stock hardcover books), and the other night I totaled up the weight of my groceries (an average/light trip) to 14lbs. Almost all this stuff is being carried 2-8 miles per day, almost every day. Laundry days are even more gruelling, since I have to lug a 50lb suitcase of laundry a mile to the laundromat. It gets old, let me tell you… but it also burns lots of calories and builds strength! I like to think of it as urban backpacking.

I headed to the calorie-counting wizards at WebMD for a breakdown of my errand running workout. Play along! (The calculations below were made using my own weight- your figures may be different.)

Carrying Groceries Home: walking 3mph carrying <25lbs= 236 calories/hour
Carrying Groceries Upstairs: 443 calories/hour
Laundry Trip: walking while carrying 25-49lbs= 295 calories/hour
Carrying Laundry Upstairs: 473 calories/hour
Serious Laundry Trip: walking while carrying 50-74lbs= 384 calories/hour
Carrying Serious Laundry Upstairs: 591 calories/hour

I couldn't find estimates for Pulling Luggage To BART Station or Yearly Trip To IKEA, but I'm sure the figures are impressive.

Does the constant schlepping (especially in the rain!) ever get you down, or do you power through it like a champ? Olympic Schlepping 2016!

(Image: Baggu Shopping and Grocery Bags)

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