February 1, 2013 by Emily Fonnesbeck
Ok people. You hate it, I hate it, your next door neighbor hates it, and even your clean-freak mom hates it. You know what it is: housework. Yes, it is a necessary evil. But what if I told you you could get fit while you clean? You would be all over that wouldn’t you?
1. Wash the walls.
Wax on, wax off, just like in the karate kid. Washing walls can be painfully boring and tedious, but it can also be a great upper body workout. Use pressure to really clean the walls and at the same time, work the muscles of the shoulder as well as the bicep and triceps.
The key here is to really concentrate on the muscle groups doing the action. Be sure and alternate arms to get an even work out, and try switching an up-and-down motion with a circular motion to work a variety of muscles.
2. Pick that up.
How many times a day do you bend down to pick something up? It probably seems like the thousandth time you’ve put away that puzzle or toy car. How about hefting that laundry basket from the basement? Every time you bend down, there is a potential squat to be done! Squats are a great way to strengthen quads, hamstrings, and glutes, but sometimes they are hard to do correctly. Remember the basics: bend at the knee and hip like you’re about to sit in a chair.
Keep your back as straight as you can and your abs sucked in. Don’t let your knees go farther than your toes to prevent strain on the knee.
3. Mop it up.
Whether you’re on your hands and knees or using the handle-mop, you can still get some burn. When on the floor, use the same motions you used while washing the walls. Round and round, up and down, all the while sucking in and flexing your abs. When you’re prone (on hands and knees) you can really create a good core workout at the same time you’re working your arms. Push your rag out and bring it back in by squeezing, or “crunching” you abdominal muscles.
When you’re standing, really push and pull that map to use arm and core muscles. Keep your feet stationary and use your obliques to turn your upper body and direct the mop.
4. Wash the dishes.
There are always a few things that can’t be loaded into the dishwasher, and you end up standing at the sink doing them by hand. Take advantage of this time and do calf raises, slowly moving your feet from a flat position, rolling to the ball of your foot and flexing your calf-muscles. Up and down enough times and you can really feel those muscles work.
You can also do calf raises while you’re ironing, doing your hair and makeup, or preparing a meal. This will give you all the more motivation to show off those rocks hard calves in the sexy heels you’ve been wanting.
5. Vacuum the rug.
Vacuuming can be a time to zone out and think, or it can be a time to get killer lower body sculpting. Lunges are a great way to tone your legs and bum, and if you’re planning on vacuuming every room in your house, there is definitely potential for a burn. Start by taking a large step forward, pushing to your toe with your back foot, and bending the knee of the front foot. As with squats, make sure your knee doesn’t go over your toe to prevent injury.
Alternate legs every time you push that vacuum forward, and you’re sure to burn those calories from your late night snack the night before.
There you have it, five easy ways to work your body by multitasking your daily activities. As with all exercise routines, you might want to warm up a bit by running the stairs a few times or chasing the child running with scissors. Practice these five exercises and you can get a fit bod and clean house at the same time! The best of both worlds.
Still not done working out? Check out these other workout tips to try at the playground!