As an Orthopedic Surgeon and fitness instructor, I often see patients who say they don’t have time to exercise, despite knowing how important it is for overall health and wellness. They’ve got the motivation, but lack the creativity to get it done. Between juggling kids, errands, work, and household chores, sometimes there simply isn’t enough time in the day to fit in an hour of cardio or a trip to the gym. However, there is some good news: you can actually burn up to 50,000 calories a year – nearly 15 lbs. – just by cleaning your house.
7 Ways to Get Lean While You Clean:
- Mop Lunges: When mopping or vacuuming the floor, give your legs a workout with some walking lunges. As you mop forward, keep your right knee directly above your ankle, and drop the left to the floor. Keep your core engaged and back straight, and feel it in your legs and glutes. Remember to alternate legs, and your rear end will say “thanks!”
- Sweep Twists: As you sweep the floor, keep your arms elevated and twist your midsection from side to side. Focus on keeping your core engaged, and go big with the side-to-side movements. You’ll feel the burn in your abs (great for the pesky “love handles”), and give your back muscles a workout too. Rotate your stance from right to left once you reach your target rep numbers.
- Balance Dusting: As we age, our balance tends to worsen significantly. As you dust furniture or decorations, stand on one leg while doing so. You’ll work many different muscle groups and your balance will improve greatly. Alternate legs per item dusted or every few minutes.
- Warrior Wipes: Yoga is powerful! When it’s time to wipe the mirrors, position yourself in the “Warrior 2” pose, and wipe with purpose! The Warrior position works many different muscle groups, including your legs, back, hips and shoulders. As you move from mirror to mirror, alternate the leg facing forward.
- Crescent Counters: Enter the “crescent pose,” and work those legs while you work the grime off the countertops. Keep the legs bent, back straight, and one arm up in the air while the other makes a circular cleaning motion on the counter. You’ll work muscles head-to-toe, and then alternate arms raised for maximum results.
- Trash Curls: Make trash removal work for you! As you carry the bag out to the dumpster, utilize your biceps by curling the bag as you walk. Do a few reps with each arm, or if it’s heavy use both arms at the same time.
- Dish Presses: When it’s time to do the dishes, give your shoulders some love by pressing the plates or pans above your head, out in front, and to the side before putting them away! If you’re feeling motivated, add a few extra reps on each item and you’ll break a sweat before the dishwasher is empty
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Many of these concepts can be repurposed to fit some of your other favorite exercise moves. Don’t forget to add a few pushups in as you move from item to item in your house. Finished cleaning the sink? Reward yourself with a few pushups! The more creative you are, the more fun and productive cleaning can become.
Always remember, exercise is life!
Peace and Health,
Dr. Levi Harrison