We all know that we should eat a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet and that we should engage in regular physical exercise. However, with having to work one (or even two) jobs, manage a family (possibly with children), go shopping, do housework and find perhaps a half an hour a day for simple relaxation, it seems as if going to the gym for a workout is just too much to fit in. According to experts, we should engage in between 150 and 175 minutes of cardio exercise per week. If you consider, for a minute, that people spend around 143 minutes per week cleaning, it raises the question whether the two could perhaps be combined.
In fact, a lot of the jobs you do around the house can be considered as a form of cardio exercise, at least at medium intensity, as well as strength training. So, if you know how to plan your chores in such a way that you can actually increase your heart rate and work your muscles, you are basically killing two birds with one stone! Below are some tips that you can implement to get the most out of your cleaning routine.
1. Vacuum Your Entire House
Switch on some music, put on some comfy clothes and break out the vacuum. This is a fantastic form of cardio exercise, particularly if you add a few dance moves in with it as well.
The forward and back motion of vacuuming is a great workout for your abdominal muscles (abs). Flex your muscles 1 at a time, beginning at your pelvis and moving into your upper abs, and keep them flexed for the entire duration of your vacuuming.
Did you know that an hour of vacuuming could burn as many as 190 calories? That means you really deserve that cup of tea with a (wholegrain!) cookie afterwards. And you can make it more intense by doing some single leg lunges while hoovering as well.
2. Clean Your Bathroom
Nobody really likes cleaning the bathroom. In fact, many find that it tops the list of most annoying chores to do around the house. However, you can do a few things to make it more fun and burn calories and build muscle.
Lay two slightly damp (can be damp from floor cleaner or just water) rags on your tile floor. Stand with feet together and a water bottle in each hand with foot on each rag. Step left foot behind you and bend both knees 90 degrees. Simultaneously, raise both #arms in front of you to shoulder height. Lower and repeat.
Doing this will leave your bathroom sparkling clean and hygienic. You can repeat this as often as you want, but try to get in at least two sets of 12 reps for best results. Not only will your floor be shining after that, your glutes will be feeling it as well. Yes, you can perk up your backside by cleaning the bathroom, in other words.
3. Get Waxing
Waxing is something not many people truly detest. It makes furniture sparkle and look amazing, and it leaves a wonderful scent as well. Plus, it is reasonably low impact work and something we tend to do at the end of our overall cleaning regime. However, you need to rethink this. Waxing could be a fantastic workout if done properly.
The key to getting great abs with this is keeping your hips square with the table or counter, DON’T wiggle. Then as you spray your table with cleaner, take your right arm and push down and make 10 large circles. Switch to the left and do the same. If you apply this technique every time you wipe down your counter top, you will be amazed at how quickly your reps add up!!!!
This advice has been provided by famous blogger “Clean Momma”. When she first started blogging about these types of things, people were skeptical if nothing else. However, the results in her body are amazing and she has proven to be a true inspiration to many other women out there.
4. Cool Down Your Room and Increase Your Weight
These are two important things that you can do together whether you are dusting the shelves or ironing, mopping the floor of filling up your washing machine. First of all, you need to increase your own weight. Put on some weighted belts around your wrists, ankles and lower back, for instance. Hold weights in your hands if possible. Anything you can come up with to increase the resistance for the movements that you make will be beneficial. Secondly, you need to cool down your room.
Research has shown that when you or the room that you’re in is colder, you’re going to burn more calories to stay warm. Not only can you keep your home temperature in the 60-65o range and do your housework in a t-shirt and shorts, but you can also wear body cooling devices such as an ice vest.
While an ice vest may seem a little bit over the top, it could work if you actually live in a hot climate. If you live somewhere with seasons, or somewhere where it is generally cooler, all you need to do is open the doors and windows in your house. Not only will this help cool down your house and, in so doing, make you burn more calories to keep warm, it will also give your home a breath of fresh air, which is something you quite probably want anyway since you are cleaning.
As you can see, you don’t need to feel too guilty about not having time to go to the gym. If you spend enough time cleaning your home and doing that in such a way that it increases your heart rate and forces you to use your muscles, you will be just as healthy. Clearly, you can be a yummy mummy without spending every waking moment on the treadmill (yummy mummies only have time for that because they also hire a cleaner and a nanny, by the way).