Cleaning up can make you fit: How to turn your housework into a workout!
Cleaning is a necessary evil. It is also one of the top excuses given when people are asked why they don't workout. The dishes piling up in the sink, loads of laundry to fold. Certainly housework needs to get done. Luckily, the thing about fitness is that you can break a sweat and get a workout in - while you complete your household tasks!
Our lives are busy, there is always work to do, people to meet, emails to answer. By the time we have a moment to ourselves, we are often so tired, that we just want to drop dead on the couch and indulge in Netflix and chill.
The decision of whether to clean our homes or head over to the gym to get a workout in, seems often overwhelming. And no matter which we decide to devote our time to, we feel guilty about not doing the other.
The good news is: You can have both a clean house and a fit body!
I like to leave any housework to be done in the very last moment. No wonder: I have about 25 things on my priority list that come before cleaning up. I would rather grab my running shoes and do a couple loops around the lake. Often, I chose a workout over housework - Just because I was unaware of the fact, that I can totally have both! Simultaneously!
When my friend made me realize, how many calories I burn by cleaning my windows, I was fascinated! 100 calories per half hour! That was when I realized:
A clean house and a fit body don't disagree!
So stop feeling guilty. Just combine housecleaning with exercising and improve our fitness without spending extra time in the gym! All you need to do is work at a fast pace when cleaning your home to burn lots of calories. There are a couple tricks and tips you should take to your heart to intensify the activity.
- Washing the dishes: ca. 75 calories
- Ironing laundry: ca. 100 calories
- Cleaning windows: ca. 110 calories
- Vacuuming the floor: ca. 120 calories
- Garden work: ca. 200 calories
- Cutting the lawn: ca. 120 calories
So crank up your favorite music, put on some comfortable pants and get moving! Every bit of exercise can improve your fitness. Polishing, dusting, mopping and sweeping are awesome exercises themselves and work your arms and abs. Bending and stretching, while making the bed, washing windows or doing laundry, tone your thighs and improve your overall flexibility.
Housework is a great way to burn extra calories. But as it is the case with any workout, the more effort you put in, the greater the benefit. Before you get started, make sure to warm up properly to not risk hurting yourself. This can be done by running up and down the stairs a couple times or doing 20 jumping squats or burpees.
If you are only just starting your fitness journey, you should check with your doctor first.
Know that at the end of a day your body has been worked out and you are going to be exhausted but very happy! What a wonderful way to add a sneaky workout to your busy schedule.
This is how you get fit doing housework!
While you are vacuuming and mopping your floors, you might as well do a couple of lunges! Make sure to train both legs, keep your back straight and your core engaged. Bend your knees 90 degrees, but make sure that they never reach over your toes. By flexing your whole body, you are training hips, thighs and glutes!
Tip: When vacuuming, switch between left and right hand to train both arms!
Stretching and circulating arm movements train your back, chest, shoulders and arms. Crazy right? And just like that, you do not only get a workout in, but also make your windows look spick-and-span!
You have to reach low areas? Do a squat and hold as long as possible! Got to reach far up? Go on your toes and stretch! And don't forget to switch arms, otherwise your training will be one-sided.
Tip: Make sure to always engage all muscles and flex, flex, flex! This makes every exercise twice as intense!
Make sure you use your time wisely and multi-task! While you are standing at the ironing board, you can do a variety of exercises.
My favorite: Lifting one leg up and down without having it touch the ground.
How it works: Slightly bend the knee you are standing on and stretch the other, either to the side or to the back. Lift your stretched leg up to 45 degree angle, hold for 2 seconds, bring it back down, but don't touch the floor. Bring it back up and repeat 10 times before you change the leg. Do it slow and always flex!
While you are waiting for the pasta water to boil, you can to a couple of press ups on the countertop of your kitchen! This trains arms and shoulders, as well as your core. Please make sure that the surface is tidy and dry before you start to avoid accidents!
Stand in front of the countertop and rest your hands on it. Your arms should be in a 90 degree angle! Step back as far as you are comfortable with. The further, the harder it gets!
This exercise is very similar to push ups, except that it is easier to control the intensity of the workout. Do 10 press ups, rest 10 seconds and repeat this 2 more times. Make sure you flex your core, as this is key to a successful exercise and keeps your back straight.
The dishes are piling up in the sink? Time to work out! Stand in front of the sink, legs parallel and only a foot length apart, knees slightly bend. Flex your glutes and abs, lift your heels in the air. Hold 5 seconds and bring them down as slowly as possible. Try not to have them touch the floor before you go up again. Repeat until the sink is empty!
- Take stuff upstairs as soon as you need to and take one item at the time.
- Listen to your favorite music! It will make you move after and burn more calories!
- Set a limit to do chores to make you move faster!
- Got ankle and wrist weights? Make use of them while cleaning up!
- Don’t forget to stretch!
- Pick things up squatting. This doesn't just engage your muscles, but also protects your back.
- Cook your own meals! It is not just healthier: Peeling, chopping, whisking and beating all burn more calories than heating up leftovers in a microwave.
- Be consistent! The more you do these exercises, the more likely they will turn into a habit.
Housework is a workout, too. You should be proud of yourself! I hope you realized that by the end of this article and feel inspired to put my tips into practice.
If you want to learn more about creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself, feel free to check out my blog! I am looking forward to hear from you!