You’ve joined the gym, taken classes, and even pumped some iron. But this might not be enough, according to a recent New York Times article. Doing some of the usual household tasks, however, could have a big impact on your overall fitness and they’re free. Whether you own a home or rent a studio, focus on getting some free fitness from your living space without laying out the yoga mat. The bonus: Crossing off your to-do list while promoting your health and helping your budget.
Spring-Clean Year Round
No reason to pay for a cleaning service when mopping and vacuuming could work off that extra serving of pasta from dinner. Turn up the volume on your iPod to get some pump-up favorites going as you choose a project to tackle, like reorganizing the junk closet or scrubbing down the bathroom. Take a few trips to the trash and recycling bins to maximize your movement, and remember that running up and down the stairs is actually a good thing.
If you’re an avid gardener, you already know about the hard work involved in outdoor upkeep. Otherwise, try planting and maintaining a garden (think trundling around with flower pots and squatting to pluck weeds), which gives you the added benefits of fresh flowers or fresh food. Experts have already proved that spending time outside your four walls can improve your mood, lower stress, and boost energy. If you do have outdoor acreage to maintain try mowing, raking, shoveling, trimming, and pruning it yourself.
Do Just A Little Extra
Instead of starting to do something you hate (your laundry), try adding exercise potential to things you already do. If you like being in the kitchen anyway, knead and roll your own dough instead of getting the pre-made quick fix. For the busy woman always fielding phone calls, walk or lunge as you talk instead of taking it easy. Make the bed instead of leaving it sloppy. And if you do love laundry, dance around as you hang up your fresh items.
Remember that as a general rule, doing things with more intensity and for longer increase the calories burned, so maximize the positive effects by doing your chore for a while at a quick pace. Like any exercise you do, always stay hydrated – not hard to do in your own home! To enhance your domestic exercise experience, Real Age offers a calories-burned chart for several household chores.