It might be unseasonably warm this year, but for some, it might still be too cold to go outside to exercise. We recently discussed some indoor exercises you can do to help you stay fit over the winter months, but you might also want to consider another set of exercises that will not only help you keep you in shape but can also contribute to a cleaner house.
We’re talking about the housework workout, of course! Too often, we look at our household chores as an impediment to getting exercise. But with this method, the housework becomes the exercise!
Let’s take a look at how you can incorporate getting fit while doing housework. Of course, don’t forget to stretch first!
Clear Clutter with Squats
If you and your family are the type to leave clothes and whatnot lying around, stuff tends to pile up quickly. But with this exercise, you’ll get your space tidied up in no time, while still working your abs and thighs.
Now, our instinct to pick stuff up is to simply bend over at the waist. This is possibly one of the worst ways to pick stuff up. But by squatting to collect items, you can safely protect your body as well as engage various muscle groups.
Here’s how to do a squat:
- Place legs about shoulder width apart.
- Extend your hands in front in a way that you can pick items up.
- Bend your knees and hips as though you’re trying to sit down. Keep your head up and chest slightly bent forward. Don’t let your back go round, though!
- Lower yourself using your thighs until they are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees over your ankles while putting your weight on your heels. Keep your core engaged. Pick up your clutter!
- Push upwards through your heels to stand back up. Place clutter in a better location!
Standing Leg Lifts while Scrubbing the Counter
This exercise is great to get your heart pumping while also exercising your thigh muscles. Do this exercise as you clean flat surfaces like your kitchen counter or dining room table. Here’s how you do it.
- Start in a stand position with a cleaning rag in your hand. Stand facing the surface you’ll be cleaning.
- Use the rag to wipe the surface in a straight line. Keeping your leg straight, extend it behind you or to the side every time you wipe away from you. Bring it back to your body as wipe back towards you.
- Switch your legs every 5-7 wipes.
Laundry Basket Lifts
Laundry is one of those never-ending chores that seem to never be fully finished. Luckily, it’s also a good excuse to practice your lifts! Full or partially full baskets can really help you work your core muscles as well as your thighs. Here are the steps to follow. Of course, you’ll need to adjust based on the type of basket you use.
- Put your full laundry basket in front of you on the floor.
- Stand with your legs about shoulder width apart.
- Bend at the knees, keeping your back straight, and grab the basket handles.
- Gently lift the basket, engaging your core and using your thighs to bring you back to standing.
Repeat this about 10 times every time you need to move laundry from one room to another. If your laundry is on the floor or in a hamper, and you need to transfer it to the basket, you can do a similar bending motion to pick them up and put them in the basket. Lift the basket each time, to get a progressively more challenging lift.
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