Have you ever considered how long it takes you to keep your house clean? It’s not unusual to spend two hours a day doing household chores–that’s two hours that could be incorporated into an exercise routine.
Housework is a terrific wayto burn up calories. Just running up and down the stairs regularly involves an aerobic workout. Dusting can use up a massive 173 calories. Vacuuming the carpets burns up to 193 calories per hour. Here are five ways to turn your daily chores into a slimming exercise routine.
1. Make a Plan
Get creative to maximize calories burnt and muscles employed. Make sure you have to run up and down the stairs to do different tasks. Clean the kitchen, then go upstairs and make the beds.
Then head back down to the living room to vacuum. Ready to tackle the bathroom? Grab your cleaning gear and climb the stairs again. For best results, plan to run up and down the stairs at least 10 times during the cleaning session–er, workout.
2. Stretch and Bend
Clean-up invariable requires swabbing, rubbing, mopping, and vacuuming. This is an ideal way to keep yourself limber and build muscle strength through stretching and bending. Cleaning windows? Use fast circular movements and long stretches. This will turn a chore into a full-body workout that tones muscles while tightening the back and shoulders.
Be sure to switch hands occasionally so the exercise benefits both sides of your body evenly. Combine vacuuming with leg lunges as you push the vacuum cleaner into corners.
Switch the mop from side to side as you clean floors to enjoy maximum benefits. Take care to reach and pull back with full extension as you move from side to side. This is a perfect exercise for the waistline as well as legs, thighs, and arms.
Finish this stage of your workout by dropping to your hands and knees for a bit of floor-scrubbing. Your shoulders and arms will benefit. The key to these benefits? Don’t move thoughtlessly from place to place in order to get closer to what you are cleaning. Stand back so you have to reach out and stretch. Your body will thank you for it.
3. Switch on the Music
More people should make the connection between dancing and fitness. Energetic dancing is a great way to burn calories and incorporate aerobic training into your day.
So crank up the rock-and-roll as you cook and clean. Make sure the music has plenty of rhythm–that will encourage you to keep your body moving.
Try dancing to the music as you dust or sweep. You’ll probably like it.
Leave the music on as you chop vegetables for dinner, or as you wait for a casserole to finish baking. The goal is to keep moving, and music helps.
4. Turn a Shopping Trip Into Exercise
You probably consider a trip to the supermarket a chore to be undertaken as quickly as possible. But it is also an opportunity to do a bit more exercise—quickly and painlessly. So consider the potential benefits of exercising throughout the day.
How about walking to the shops instead of taking the car? It might take a bit longer, but your body will thank you for it. It’s better for the environment, too, and with the rising price of gasoline, you could wind up saving some money.
Invest in one of those little rolling carts that people use in big cities. Even in the suburbs, they’re handy for getting groceries home when you’ve bought too much to carry.
If you must take the car, park at the opposite end of the lot so you have a longer walk to the store. It’s a little thing, but these little things add up. Lift and stretch each time you put bags into the car or take them out–and continue the lifting and stretching as you unpack the bags into your cupboards at home.
5. Do It Yourself
Modern life is full of conveniences, but using them can shortchange you of beneficial workout opportunities. Wash your dishes by hand rather than using a dishwasher. Beat eggs with a hand whisk rather than an electric mixer.
Knead dough, mix cakes, chop vegetables… all by hand.
Just think of all the calories you can use while accomplishing these tasks.
You’ll break a sweat—especially if you’re making bread. Kneading the dough for five minutes or so is a fantastic workout for the arms and shoulders. It’s easy to build up a rhythm too, so cranking up the music will definitely help.
Turning housework into an exercise routine is simple and effective – and it could cut down on the time you spend at the gym, allowing you more time to do other things that you enjoy!