In a perfect world, you’d probably get to the gym three times a week and go for a jog every morning. But life’s rarely that simple, and work, raising a family and all sorts of other things can get in the way of your workout time. However, there are ways to get your heart rate up while you’re accomplishing tasks on your to-do list, such as dialing up the intensity of your actions while taking care of everyday chores.
The World Health Organization recommended that adults 18 to 64 years old get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. While two and a half hours might seem like a lot all at once, it’s really only 30 minutes a day for five out of every seven days. Between cooking, cleaning and running errands, odds are you’ve got all the time you need to reach this goal. Take a look at these three ways to transform your chores into workouts:
1. Hand wash your floors
Put away the mop, grab a rag or a sponge, and use a little elbow grease to really make your floors shine. Shape magazine suggested getting down onto your hands and knees, gripping the rag with both hands. Lock your core and push the rag forward across the floor as far as you can go while keeping your midsection – especially your hips – elevated, the source recommended. Pause for a few seconds before sliding back. Do this a few times for each section of the floor until the whole surface is clean and you’ll surely feel the burn in your abdominal muscles and arms.
2. Sweep or mop everything
Sweeping requires you to walk, move your arms and squat, and the same goes for mopping if you don’t want to hand wash your floors. According to Fitness magazine, mopping and sweeping can help to strengthen the shoulder and bicep muscles, and the act by itself burns as much as 112 calories per minute. You can up the ante by making a point to keep moving. It’s easy to stand in one spot and sweep an area, but if your feet don’t stop, your heart rate won’t slow either. Try to sweep or mop every room with wood or tile floors in your entire home without taking a break.
3. Paint your walls
While this certainly isn’t an everyday chore, it’s a great way to reinvigorate your living space, and the activity can help you burn calories. In fact, an hour of painting a room will burn about 250 calories while your core and arms get one heck of a workout, Fitness magazine indicated. This doesn’t even include all of the extra activities involved, such as moving furniture out of the way, climbing up and down ladders and hauling paint buckets and other supplies. Try to incorporate some squats into your paint strokes – this will be easiest if you’re using a roller, as you can start in a squat and slowly lift yourself up onto the balls of your feet before rolling back down into the crouched stance. When you need more paint, keep the tray on the floor and squat down to soak up the hue with your roller.
The overarching tips that take these three chores from regular activity to calorie-burning, muscle-building workouts can be applied to any chores, whether you’re planting bulbs in the garden or running loads of laundry up and down the stairs. It can be as complex as developing a circuit of folding some clothes, doing some jumping jacks, folding a few more and then taking a minute to hold the plank position. You can also do lunges while vacuuming or leg lifts while washing dishes.