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Getting Your Workout From Your Housework
In my last post I gave you some basic building blocks to help you form good habits. The reason I started there is because no effort to get moving and keep moving will stand without a solid foundation of good habits. Let me clarify the aim of these posts. If you already go to the gym regularly or have a solid work-out plan in place, you will probably find these posts to be too basic.
However, many of us, due to age, work schedule, health issues, or just daily life, have found ourselves in less than mint condition. If you are ready to improve your fitness and don’t know how or where to start, I’m talking to you. Likely you’ve slidden into a place where it is neither easy or habitual for you to exercise. This is why I’ve developed this simple plan, starting with easy habit building. I’ve also created a very special free cheat-sheet to help you set your habit goals and keep track of them! Once you get back into the swing of simple, regular exercise, you will find you want to step up your game. And you will feel like doing it!
Work Out with Your House Work
Once you’ve identified where you want to start, look at what you already do as part of your daily routine. Let’s see where you can sneak some extra work-out activity into your housekeeping.
- Mop dancing – add lunges, stretches and squats as you mop the floors or vacuum.
- Weight-basket lifting – pick up your laundry basket, your child, or other heavier household objects and incorporate lifts. Hold the item straight out in front of you and raise to shoulder height and lower 5-10 times. Remember to keep your back straight; do not bend at the waist, but rather lift with your legs and knees.
- Wall/furniture dusters – while cleaning or dusting your furniture take a couple of steps back from the piece of furniture, (make sure it won’t slide or roll away from you) lean forward and place both hands on the item shoulder width apart; keeping your back and legs straight, push away (as in doing push-ups) 5-10 times. Next, stand with your back to the wall and begin to slide downward, stepping out from the wall until you reach a sitting position. With your back still against the wall, count to 10, then slowly slide back up to standing. Repeat as often as you can.
- Tidy-walk – this one’s really easy but very beneficial! Set aside a 5 or 10-minute break where you walk briskly in a circuit through your house (or yard if you want). Use this time to tidy-up by picking up misplaced items throughout the house and carrying them to their intended place. This is a good one to do in late afternoon before dinner to keep your home from becoming too cluttered. If the kids join you, make it a game and do a march, a duck-walk or high-step; see who can find the most items to pick up and put away.
- Meal-prep can/pan-hoist – while preparing a meal, pick up a couple of canned goods, (iron skillets work well, too), and drop your arms to your sides. Slowly lift your arms straight out counting to 10 until they are shoulder height, then slowly lower. Repeat 10 times. Next, start with your arms down at your sides, and lift them slowly in front of you until shoulder height, then lower. Repeat 10 times. Lastly, raise your arms to shoulder height with elbows bent, then slowly raise them, straightening your arms as you count to 10, then lower. Repeat x 10. For extra benefit, do some squats at the same time.
- Tube-moves – If you find yourself sitting in front of the television in the evenings, you can work on any of these moves. Or do a few sit-ups, push-ups, planks, leg-raises, squats, walking in place, hula-hooping, and stretches in a repeating circuit. All these movements are tiny steps to improving your health and fitness, all from the comfort of your living room floor! And without spending precious time going to the gym or trying to do a dedicated exercise regimen, you have incorporated a great workout into your busy day.
Work Place Work Out
Have to spend long days at a desk or just not moving around much at work? Here are a few ideas to get moving and keep moving on the job.
- Desk duty – set a personal alarm on your phone or watch to remind you to get up once an hour to do some stretching or just walking around in your work area. This goes a long way in adding to your daily step total, and keeps you from getting stiff from just being in one position for too long. While you’re sitting, extend your legs and point and flex your feet for a quick stretch and blood-flow stimulation.
- Break-time body-time – when you are on a break, spend a few minutes getting in a brisk walk, some wall/furniture dusters, or even a few of the tube-moves as described above. Your back, legs and alertness level with thank you!
So now you have some great and simple tools to get you going! It’s not easy to kick off a new plan to get moving and then keep it going, but with some fresh ideas and goals in sight, you can find your motivation. I know you can do it! Be sure to check out the free cheat-sheet that will help you simplify and track your get moving goals. Let me know how you are progressing, too.
Ready to get moving and keep moving? Get your very own Get Moving Habit-Building cheat sheet! Put your goals and plan on one page, and keep track of your progress. Click here to learn more!