I love to multi-task, especially when it comes to working out. Often times my husband will come into the bathroom to find me brushing my teeth and doing lunges or leg lifts. Who knows how much those small increments of extra activity help my weight loss, but it helps me feel better, especially on days where I just couldn’t make it to the gym – which seems to happen more often these days.
I had a baby two months ago and am still adjusting to my new life and schedule that revolves around the little one. I try to get a run in everyday when I can, but there are days that it just doesn’t happen. I was on my hands and knees mopping our kitchen floor the other day when I started to wonder how many calories I was potentially burning. The lead me to start wondering if I could actually get a workout while cleaning. So I started to do some research and soon discovered that I am not the only one who is looking for ways to incorporate exercise into my everyday chores.
There are multiple ways and moves to do that will provide you with a workout while cleaning the house. You just have to remember that a big portion of actually getting the benefits is form. You need to become aware of your body and how it is moving. Make you sure you are standing tall – using proper posture and are tightening your ab muscles. Below are some moves that you can incorporate into your daily chores and that will help you feel more lean and toned.
Vacuum Lunges: Lunges are a great exercise for the hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles. You can easily incorporate lunges into the pushing and pulling movement of vacuuming. When you push the vacuum forward, take a step with your right leg, shifting most of your weight onto the right foot and keeping your left food in place. Bend your right hip and knee, lowering your body to the floor until your thigh is parallel to the floor – just like a regular lunge movement you would do at the gym. Alternate legs as you continue to vacuum. Make you sure you are incorporating correct form, by ensuring that your knees are parallel to your toes – this will help you avoid any injury.
Leg Lifts: These can be done anytime you are standing – I try to do them when I am cooking, doing the dishes, or like mentioned above – getting ready in the mornings. It is important to remember that just mindlessly kicking your legs out to the side is not going to get noticeable results, so you much focus on your form. Imagine that instead of folding laundry, you are holding onto a ballet bar. Stand up straight and tall and pull your ab muscles inward and tight. Choose a leg and lift it to the side about 7 inches while flexing your foot. Bring your leg up and down 20 times on each side. You can then switch it up by lifting the leg up behind you.
Deltoid Dusting: We are currently going through a remodel project which creates endless amounts of dust. I hate dusting because it feels like not matter how many times I do it, there is still dust EVERYWHERE. But with this new move, I think I will enjoy dusting just a little bit more, knowing that I am working on tightening my arms. The key to this move is to pick up the pace and make big movements, involving vigorous circular movements. Start with your dominant hand, from shoulder to hand, dust the furniture with quick circular strokes. Continue dusting until you start to feel the burn, and then switch arms. This is similar to the arm circle exercises, except your house gets cleaner at the same time! This move can be used when you are cleaning off countertops. Just make sure your posture is good and your abs are tightened to get the full benefit.
Dish Lifts: Next time you are emptying your dishwasher – try to incorporate calf raises. Every time you put a dish up on the shelf, raise your calf up (stand on your tiptoes) for three seconds and then back down. Alternate between legs. This exercise can also be done with both legs at the same time.
By incorporating simple exercises into your daily cleaning routine, you can strengthen your muscles and tone your body. Don’t stop with just the above moves, get creative and put together your own cleaning workout. Add squats into your laundry routine, do some lifting with the laundry baskets, or tone your abs while you mop. Just remember to do every move with a purpose – make sure you are getting the most out of each move by keeping good posture and tightening your muscles. Happy Cleaning!