Clean Your Way Fit

Make Working Out Work For You With This Housework-Out Combo

Housework for many of us is a necessary evil that interferes with so many other “I’d rather be…” you fill-in-the-blank options of choice. My “I’d rather be” is almost always working out, which is to a fault as my housekeeping over the years has suffered during bouts of marathon training and some serious spin class sessions. But for those of you with more willpower and ultimately cleaner homes than I who might be looking to clean house both literally and with regard to physical fitness, read on. It is possible to have your cake and eat it too -— in this case skip the actual cake and just get cleaning — exer-cleaning!

Health and fitness professionals alike agree that even short bursts of mild exercise throughout your day can help improve overall physical fitness, especially for those who don’t typically exercise and are just getting started. Believe it or not, cleaning is in fact a work out with  an average calorie burn of up to 200 calories an hour for vigorous activities like vacuuming and mopping. And even smaller tasks such as washing dishes, loading a dishwasher — even cooking — burn an extra 85 calories each day.

That being said, there are many ways you can supplement your regular cleaning workout with traditional exercises that may not be easy but can be easily incorporated to the tasks at hand. When it comes to this, there are two schools of thought as to how this can be carried out but you can decide which works best for you. Option #1 is designed in circuit style with you completing a set of exercises between each chore by setting a timer while option #2, slips in functional movements that can be completed during each chore. 

OPTION#1: Clean-Exercise-Repeat

Set a timer and complete one set each time the timer goes off. Repeat the entire sequence for the length of your cleaning time, or based on your current fitness level.

  • Exercise #1 – 5 burpees
  • Exercise #2 – 10 pushups
  • Exercise #3 – Run a flight of stairs or 50 high knees
  • Exercise #4 – 10 squats or jump squats
  • Exercise #5 – 10 triceps dip

There are countless options you can choose for your exer-cleaning circuit —jumping jacks, lunges, wall-sits, crunches or planks. Get creative and mix-up your routine to keep things interesting and fun. You can even grab some hand weights and add some strength training to the agenda. 

OPTION #2 Built-in-Basic Training

Lunge And Vac: while vacuuming, try walking lunges remembering to keep your knees directly above your ankles and keeping you abs engaged. Lunges work the thighs and glutes.  

Scrub And Stretch: add an upper body challenge to washing your walls and shower interiors by scrubbing vertically and horizontally, arms outstretched, without bending them.

Stairs Climbers: This is one instance where it pays to be less efficient. One example, if your washer/dryer are located on another level, make multiple trips up and down the stairs with the clean or dirty clothes. You can also run the stairs in between laundry turnovers. 

Walking Push-Ups With A Cleaning Rag: take a dampened rag in one hand and find your plank position. Complete one push-up then slide the hand with the rag out and down to your side, then switch hands and repeat until you’ve completed 20 reps or have cleaned your floor!

Laundry Basket Crab-Crawl Carry: This may not be the most practical exercise if you’re a fan of oversized laundry loads (not that I would know anything about that). But if you’re washing reasonably-sized batches of clothes, fill up your basket with either clean or dirty clothes and take yourself down to the floor and into the “crab crawl” position. Basically this looks like you walking on your hands and feet, back to the floor with hands supporting you from behind and feet firmly planted, knees bent at a 90 degree angle. The additional challenge here is to place your laundry basket on your abdomen and crab-crawl while carrying it to and from the laundry room. 

Scrubbing Climbers: Otherwise known as mountain climbers with your cleaning rags are a great way to work your lower body and abs while giving your floors some much needed attention. Find your plank position with a dampened cleaning rag under each foot then slide each foot in and out, alternating several times fast. After several swipes you can recover, then move to the next area and repeat until your floors shine.

Squat Jump Dishwasher Load: Think loading a dishwasher’s the easy way out? Think again. Grab a dirty dish, perform a full squat to load it in and then burst up into a jump. Repeat until your ready to run, the dishwasher that is. 

Make The Most Out Of Grocery Shopping Day by sneaking in a weightlifting session as you bring in the groceries and putting them away. Paper bags can hold more weight so let your store’s bagger load them up and you’ll enjoy a stealthy strength training session.

Well, now I have no more excuses not to work out my house cleaning demons (darn it!) I’m sure many of you can relate and those of you on the other side of the coin have no more excuses not to work out! Whichever category you fall into, I hope you’ll have fun getting healthy while getting your chores done. But if you find yourself still grappling with the“I’d rather be…” syndrome, by all means get outside and go for that long run, bike ride or whatever activity makes you happy and healthy! 

While you’re out there, you might be interested to know that A La Maid offers many time-saving services that could have your home spic and span before you finish that run! You can book an estimate online or call for more information.