Physical fitness and a clean, comfortable living space are two key components of a healthy life. Fortunately, you can do both at once by incorporating housework fitness tips into your routine, turning everyday activities into strength-building and weight loss chores. Consider the following 10 ways to get fit while doing housework.
1. Make a playlist of fast-paced music.
Music with a fast tempo will encourage you to move more quickly, and research has confirmed that listening to upbeat music can help maximize results from a workout.
2. Time your housework for exercise appropriately.
You may be used to doing housework whenever you get to it, but if you expect it double as a workout, you’ll need to treat it like an exercise session. Save your shower until after you’ve done your housework, and perform your chores in that “sweet spot” when you’re feeling neither hungry nor full.
3. Dress appropriately.
Jeans and fitted shirts constrict movements and can interfere with proper body mechanics. Dress for a workout – loose clothes you can move in and, if you wear footwear indoors, cross-trainers.
4. Get a heart rate monitor.
Track your beats per minute, calories burned and the amount of time you’ve been exercising. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that, for cardiovascular health, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week. A heart rate monitor can help you keep track of how much you’ve exercised.
Moderate-intensity exercise occurs when your heart is pumping at between 50 and 70% its maximum rate, while high-intensity exercise occurs when your heart is pumping at between 70 and 85% its maximum rate. To calculate your maximum rate, subtract your age from 220. Then, multiply the answer by the percentage you’re targeting.
Example for a 40-year-old:
220 – 40 = 180
180 x 0.50 = 90
180 x 0.70 = 126
Heart beat per minute range for moderate-intensity exercise = 90-126 BPM
5. Scrub a wall a day.
You use a lot of muscles in your upper arms when you scrub, and you’ll use even more on a surface that requires reaching up, down and to the side. Just do one wall each time you clean, and be sure to switch arms half-way through.
6. Use standing exercises when doing dishes.
When you’re doing dishes or another chore that requires standing relatively still, use it as an opportunity to do cardio and strength-building exercises such as calf raises and jumping rope (without the rope, of course!).
7. Turn every bend into functional exercise.
Functional exercise mimics everyday motions such as bending. Every time you bend down to lift something, you can turn the motion into exercising by practicing proper body mechanics – keeping your back straight and preventing your knees from coming forward past your toe line. You’ll be performing a lunge or a squat.
8. Engage your core.
As you walk, stand, bend, etc., keep those deep muscles that support your spine engaged. This will promote proper posture and body mechanics as well as give you a low-grade core workout.
9. Lay off convenient kitchen devices.
Choppers and blenders are great convenience items, but if you want your household activities to double as exercise, leave them in the cupboard. Chop your vegetables with a knife and break out the mortar and pestle instead of blending up spices, hummus, etc.
10. Make your own bread.
Making homemade bread by hand is a time-consuming but satisfying endeavor, and kneading the dough will give your arms a killer workout.