Chore Training: How to Tone Up While Tidying Up
Daily routines are great to have on lockdown and can help you feel productive throughout the day. Sometimes, however, it can feel impossible to fit everything into 24 hours: healthy eating, work, kids, grocery shopping, working out — oh, and cleaning the house! Pots and pans waiting to be scrubbed in the sink, loads of laundry piled up on the couch, and when was the last time you washed those windows? Household chores can be a pain and the last to-do on your list, but they must be done to keep your routine in check – so, why not make the most of them by throwing in a workout.
With a little tweaking, it’s relatively easy to get a solid workout in while simultaneously cleaning the house. While it may not be the muscle-building, high-intensity workout you’re used to at the gym, it’ll surely add a little kick to your stretching and calorie-burning routine –and you’ll end up with a clean house. Here are a few simple ways to make the most out of your household chores:
Get Down and Dirty
Doing some cleaning tasks by hand, versus using electrical appliances, or putting a little extra effort into your routine can up the ante of your cleaning regimine:
- Leave the Swiffer in the closet and scrub the floor by hand.
- Drive-thru car washes are tempting when you’re crunched for time, but taking the time to hand wash the car could work wonders for your arms, shoulders and back.
- Move the furniture around to get those hard-to-reach places, rather than squeezing through cracks, to get both a deep clean and a little weight resistance
- Wax on, wax off and get your arm workout in. Make sure to switch from your dominant hand every so often to ensure you’re using equal muscle mass on both sides.
With all the time we spend moving in the kitchen, it’s a perfect opportunity to create a mini workout routine:
- If you typically use a gallon jug of milk or juice in the morning (or any time) curl those biceps, baby! Do a few reps with each arm every time you reach for it.
- It may be tempting to try and bring in all the grocery bags in one trip, but if you take a couple trips and make a light jog out of it, you’ll be burning more calories and getting more steps in your trips back and forth. Make a course out of your household — an extra lap around the couch!
Laundry never seems to end – so it’s a perfect workout opportunity:
- Rather than sitting on the couch watching TV, stand up and place your laundry basket on one side of your body, on the floor. Squat down to pick up a piece of clothing; once you fold it, squat down to place it on the other side in a pile. Doing the repetitively should engage your core as you twist from side to side.
- As you collect clothes off the floor, or if your laundry basket is on the ground, squat down to pick them up too! Try to repeat every time you reach for the floor instead of bending with the lower back.
- Get in more squats as you load the washer or dryer, and then come up for calf raise at the top as you put the clothes in or pull them out.
Turn it up!
If you’re committing to a longer task, like cleaning out your closet, or even just making dinner, turn on some music to make it more enjoyable. It has an energizing effect that will naturally make you want to get up and move around, as opposed to sitting in silence.
With a little extra elbow grease, all of these chores can easily get you to work up a sweat. So, put aside the convenience, step up your game, and you’ll be doing double duty – cleaning AND burning calories – in no time. As with any exercise, don’t over do it. But, if you manage to do a few of these every time you do a household chore, you may just find a new passion for cleaning to fuel you this fall.