Today I Learned...
e've all heard about techniques to get us physically active — like taking the stairs, parking a bit further from your destination, and getting up and walking in place for a minute or two when standing or sitting at a desk.
But, did you know that housework can be a fantastic workout?
Researchers say that simple household chores—like vacuuming and dusting—can have a noticeable effect on health, as well as increase overall fitness levels. (NPR).
So, if you're looking for a way to get your heart rate up and feel good about yourself, try these techniques when completing your next chores:
Sweeping is a great way to improve your balance, strength, and flexibility. Sweeping is an aerobic exercise since it requires you to move your limbs quickly and put your body into motion.
The key is not to just move your arms back and forth.
You need to make sure that every part of your body is involved in the movement—even if it means using your feet or legs.
This will help strengthen all the muscles in your body and give you more energy throughout the day. So go ahead and grab that broom/dustpan/sweeper of yours and get moving!
2. Cleaning Windows
Have you ever seen a window cleaner? They're so fit! They're always moving around and getting their muscles pumping as they climb up and down ladders and scrub away at windows and frames.
If you want to get in on the action, set aside a few hours this fall to clean your windows. You'll feel great afterward—and who knows? Maybe you'll even start cleaning other things around the house!
Cleaning windows can be a great workout for your upper body, arms, and shoulders. It also requires good balance and coordination, so it's a good way to improve these skills if you're trying to become more physically fit.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Move around while you clean. Don't just stand there with one arm up and the other down, scrubbing away at your windowpane. Instead, move from side to side or even front to back. This way both sides of your body get some exercise in!
- Try doing squats or lunges while you're cleaning. You can use this movement to clean in an up-and-down motion!
If you're looking for a fun way to get your heart rate up and your body moving, try turning cleaning windows into an exercise!
3. Washing the Dishes
Washing the dishes is a great way to get some activity into your day—and it's something you'll have to do eventually, so it's as good a time as any to get it done. You can burn about 100 calories an hour by doing this, according to the American Council on Exercise!
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your dishwashing routine:
- Don't just rinse off your dishes and put them on the rack. If you really want to work those muscles, scrub them clean! Get in there with that sponge and really get elbow-deep into those dishes.
- While standing at the sink, just stand up on your toes and then come back down again. You'll feel it in no time!
- Try doing some knee bends while washing dishes—you'll feel it in your glutes!
- If you're feeling ambitious, you can even do some yoga poses!
You can turn your cleaning habits into a workout that will help you stay healthy!
When completing chores follow these final tips:
- Use a timer.
Set aside a specific amount of time for each chore (and stick to it!) so that you don't waste any time getting distracted by other things around the house or watching too much Netflix while folding laundry.
- Listen to music.
Play music while you clean so that it feels like a dance party and not like an errand list. You'll be amazed at how much faster you get things done when they're fun!
- Use all of your body.
Don't just use your arms when dusting or mopping; use your legs too! It's a great way to get more exercise while doing chores around the house!
- Clean with Purpose!
If you're just going through the motions when cleaning, chances are you won't get as much done. Instead of just moving from room to room, try cleaning each room for a specific purpose by focusing on one task at a time.
With all this being said, if you want to make housework a bit more fun, take the change and search for new ideas that turn housework into exercise, or just add some movement to it.