Can You Get In a Workout While Spring Cleaning? You Bet!
The first day of spring has come and gone, and with the new season comes a fresh start. Many get inspired right about now to clean up and get organized—give the house a scrub, open up the windows, put your winter wardrobe in storage. As if checking those major chores off your to-do list isn’t satisfying enough, imagine being able to get in an effective workout at the same time. It turns out there are plenty of practical ways to add simple exercises to the spring cleaning tasks you’re already doing, getting stronger and burning some extra calories along the way. Here are a few to try:
- Take the Stairs: While it may make the most sense to do all your upstairs cleaning before moving on to the first floor, switch things so you’re forced to climb the stairs a few extra times and get your heart rate up. Clean out your bedroom closet, then head downstairs to clean the kitchen and then go back upstairs to clean the bathroom. Want more of a challenge? If your joints and flexibility allow, try skipping a step on your way up for added exertion.
- Vacuum Lunges: While you’re getting your carpets clean, take the opportunity to strengthen your legs. Whenever you take a step forward, turn it into a lunge. Keep form in mind here: Keep your back straight and don’t let your knees go past your toes as you step forward.
- Swap in a Squat: Whether you’re unloading the dishwasher, picking up a laundry basket or grabbing toys from the floor, perform a squat instead of bending over at the waist. Not only will this add a healthy challenge to a basic task, but it will also protect your back from injury. Remember to keep feet hip-width apart and your core muscles tight. Want some extra activity? Add an upper body twist when you stand up to give your oblique muscles some love.
- Creative Bicep Curls: You’re sure to be toting things around while doing your spring cleaning, so make the most of it. Whether you’re taking out the trash or carrying around your caddy of cleaning supplies, do a few bicep curls with the items in hand.
- Scrubbing Slide-Outs: While a mop and bucket can be useful for bigger rooms, tackle the floors in smaller areas on your hands and knees. And while you’re down there, add in some core-strengthening slide-outs. While on all fours with a rag in each hand, slide your hands forward until you’re in a plank position. Hold for a few counts, then pull the rags back in while cleaning the floor. Remember to only extend as far as you can without losing balance and to keep your hips and shoulders aligned.
- Work your shoulders while washing windows: Reaching up to wash windows is a great way to engage your shoulder and arm muscles. Start using large, circular wiping motions to make it a more involved movement. Your tank-top-ready arms will be worth it!
Have you added any fitness hacks to your spring cleaning routine? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Elaine Smith