Remember when you were a child and used to race to try to finish your chores quickly before playtime? Well, now you’ll be doing your chores quickly for a different goal. Speeding up your movements while doing daily housework, weekly cleaning or even de-cluttering is the key to burning those extra calories.
Try these tips when you’re cleaning your house to work off extra calories, increase your energy, feel better and have more fun.
1. Run or walk quickly up the stairs of your house throughout your cleaning session. (Keep your hand lightly on the stair rail for safety.)
2. Squat to pick up items on the floor or at lower reaches. Squat: Place your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, keeping your feet facing forwards. Then push your hips back as if you’re sitting into a chair, while keeping your back straight and stomach muscles pulled in.
3. If the item is too low to reach by using a squat position, do a hamstring stretch while you’re reaching for the item.Hamstring stretch: Place your feet hip width apart. Then bend at your hips and while keeping your knees straight, reach for the floor with your hands. The aim is to place both hands flat on the floor with your knees straight. Try to hold the stretch for 10 seconds before picking up the item(s)
4. Race your timer, your partner/spouse, family or friends to see who can finish cleaning an area first. You don’t have to be a kid to race. Look at all the marathon runners. You can run a cleaning marathon! 😉
5. Vacuum! Vacuuming at a quick pace actually can be a good workout and burn calories. Remember to use good posture and big movements so you’re using your arm and leg muscles. Also, remember to bend your knees and rise to work your legs as well as your arms.
Pull your belly button in towards your spine so that your posture is good throughout and your core (abdominal muscles) are working. This will reduce the risk of lower back pain. Just think, daily or weekly vacuuming can become part of your workout regimen as well as keep your house clean and ready for entertaining.
6. Scrubbing or washing the dishes: Ever notice how your arms feel tired after cleaning the dishes or scrubbing the counter? Using quick, full movements while doing this type of cleaning can be added to your arm routine. Try to use the same movement (circular, square, zigzagged, etc.) for approximately 20 repetitions (reps) each direction. Then switch arms and do the same.
You can do this when you’re cleaning your dishes even if you have an automatic dishwasher. Again, the quicker you move, the more calories you’ll burn and the faster you’ll finish cleaning.
Whether you’re scrubbing the counter, cleaning the floor, or washing out the shower, you can use these tips any time you’re using your arms to clean an area. By switching arms, directions and doing 20 reps throughout your cleaning, you’re going to be working both arms evenly and improving your coordination by using your weaker arm (generally your non-writing arm). And you’ll be toning your arm muscles by doing strength endurance.
7. Dance! Dance around the house or room while you’re cleaning. You’ll have more fun and get a good workout while you’re at it.
8. If you must sit down while you’re cleaning, de-cluttering or organizing, (which I know is necessary at certain times, like when you have that stack of papers that is going to take a while to organize), try to sit with your best possible posture. If you notice that after a bit you’ve started slouching, just sit up straight again and pull in your belly button to work those stomach muscles!
9. Use a range of movement in everything you do. If you’re sitting down, stand up and shake your legs and arms to get your circulation flowing before sitting back down again. When cleaning a room, switch areas often to increase your movement. The bigger your movement and action, the better workout you’ll have and the more your body will respond.
10. If you have a lot of cleaning/de-cluttering to do, try setting a timer every 15-30 minutes, then have 5 minutes where you stretch, walk or jog in place, dance to some music, do jumping jacks, jump up and down or even meditate. While you’re cleaning, decide what you’ll do on your next 5 minutes. Sometimes it’s best to choose one thing, such as stretching. Other times you may want to vary it and just keep moving for 5 minutes.
Be sure to use that 5 minutes for you. By having a regular break to revitalize your mind and body, you’ll work quicker and feel better for it. Plus, by the end of your cleaning session, you actually could have done a workout for the day. For example, by the end of three hours of 30-minute cleaning spurts, you’ll have completed a 30-minute workout. At the end of 6 hours you’ll have done a 60-minute workout. This doesn’t even have to be done all at once. If you’re spreading out your cleaning throughout the day, this works just as well. Just take that 5 minutes every time you’ve done 30 minutes.
Remember, every bit helps when it comes to working out and being active! Even 5 or 10 minutes a day of additional exercise makes a difference in your health and well-being. You’ll feel better for it, have more energy and enjoy your cleaning, too.
Don’t forget to turn the music up while you’re cleaning. Join me next Tuesday for the Top 5 Housecleaning Workout Songs. Happy cleaning! 🙂