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Forget about cross trainers, Power Plates and treadmills - if you want to get a bum like Kylie, abs like Denise Lewis and legs like Elle ‘the body’ McPherson, it could be as simple as giving your car a wash!

A new study released by MORE TH>N Woman’s Car Insurance shows that the average UK woman could burn more calories washing her car than she could by going for a 40 minute run – or doing 45 minutes intensive circuit training at the gym.

While many women head for the nearest garage forecourt and take the automatic car wash option, or leave any manual washing to their other halves, these latest findings are sure to make them think again. In just 90 minutes, the time it takes to wash a family sized saloon car, the average UK women can burn up to 500 calories. Carwash-carobics trumps all of the following:

• 30 minute squash match (burns 447 calories)
• 40 minute cross country run (burns 464 calories)
• 45 minute circuit training session (burns 425 calories)
• 1 hour cycling at 5.5 miles per hour (burns 270 calories)

What’s more, with the average private gym membership costing in excess of £600 per year, there’s a pretty hefty financial saving to be made by working off all those Christmas canapés cleaning your Clio or polishing your Polo.

Despite this, the research reveals the shocking truth that over half of all female car owners (54 per cent) have never hit the driveway to wash their own cars.

Independent fitness expert and qualified personal trainer, Graeme Marsh, worked with MORE TH>N to calculate the figures. He says, “The extraordinarily high ‘carwash calorie-burn’ rate is explained by the fact that a number of the key movements involved in washing a car incorporate all of the major joints in the body, from the ankles right up to the shoulders, and use a number of different core muscles. A lot of people might not think it but the carwash offers the type of all round body workout difficult to recreate using gym equipment”.

The top calorie burning movements identified by MORE TH>N are:

• The Squat & Sponge (works thighs, hamstrings, lower back, arms and shoulders)
• Reaching Lunge & Sponge (works thighs, hamstrings, lower back, arms and shoulders)
• The Bucket pick-up (works glutes, hamstrings and lower back)

While the 500-calorie figure relates to a 90-minute wash for an average sized family saloon car, the research also includes a ‘burn barometer’ for a number of other cars traditionally marketed to women. It shows that:

• Washing a small city run-a-round like a Fiat 500 could burn up to 333 calories
• Washing a mid-sized cool convertible like a Vauxhall Tigra could burn up to 417 calories
• Washing a rough ‘n’ ready 4x4 like a BMW X5 could burn up to 583 calories

Pete Markey, spokesperson for MORE TH>N, comments:

“Following the usual overindulgences most of us are guilty of over the Christmas holiday, January has traditionally been a time when huge numbers flock down to the local gym. But our findings show expensive health club memberships are not the only way to beat the bulge - the manual carwash is a truly viable alternative. While in the past women may have been more inclined to pop down to their local garage for an automatic wash, we’re confident the findings will encourage British women to hit their driveways and get washing!”

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Lana Clements
MORE TH>N External Communications
T: 020 7337 5797
M: 07824 529276
E: lana.clements@uk.rsagroup.com

Carmel McCarthy
MORE TH>N External Communications
T: 020 7337 5405
M: 07717 294529
E: carmel.mccarthy@uk.rsagroup.com

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Carwash techniques explained:

*Squat & Sponge

The movement starts with the sponge in one hand and the bucket between the feet. The car washer then squats down low, keeping the chest high while sinking the sponge into the bucket. Standing up and pushing or pulling the sponge over the car in large circular motions completes the movement.

*Reaching Lunge & Sponge

The car washer starts the movement standing side on to the car with the bucket next to the outside foot. They then reach down with their outside hand and fill the sponge with water. Next they take a stride forwards with the outside leg, keeping the knee tracking over the toes and allowing it to move forwards over the foot. The car washer reaches forwards with their hand, past the knees and rubs the sponge on the car in a circular movement. Finally the lead leg is pushed back to a standing position. The movement is repeated for the opposite side of the car, changes legs when changing sides

*The Bucket pick-up

A simple exercise based on the dead lift movement used by many in the gym. The car washer stands next to a full bucket of water, positioned slightly in front of the foot. They then reach down to the handle, keeping their arm straight and chest lifted, and bend from the hips keeping the spine in a neutral position. Keeping the chest lifted the car washer stands tall, extending from the hips.

Carwash statistic for UK female car owners:

*From survey carried out by Fly Research, August 2008, of 1,200 female car owners. Research carried out by Fly Research

Carwash and exercise calorie burn figures:

*Provided by independent fitness expert and personal trainer, Graeme Marsh. Based on calorific measurements from ‘Exercise Physiology’, McCardle, Katch & Katch, 2001. Figures based on a 70kg woman

Carwash calorie burn rate for different cars:

*Fiat 500 – Based on estimate that carwash will take up to one hour
*Vauxhall Tigra – Based on estimate that carwash will take up to one hour and 15 minutes
*BMW X5 – Based on estimate carwash will take up to one hour and 45 minutes

*Please note – calorie burn figures should be used as a guide and can be affected by a number of factors, including body weight and levels of fitness. Intensity levels used when washing a car will also affect calorie expenditure.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of More Than in the following categories: Women's Interest & Beauty, Motoring, Personal Finance, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.