I’m taking this time at home to kick off spring cleaning.
At this point, I have nothing but time to get my house in order and I’m looking forward to it. What I’m not looking forward to is the time I will spend in this house with these snacks in my pantry. Even though I’m not normally a snacker, I’m an emotional eater and a social butterfly. What does that have to do with those snacks?
Being cooped up too long, in addition to everything that is happening in the world, will most likely make me anxious and the snacks will quickly disappear.
Let’s be honest. Cleaning is a never-ending job on an average day. Now that the kids are home and moving everything out of its place, it is even more of a chore. Why not make the most of it? Cleaning requires movement so it is most definitely a physical activity that burns calories and can even tone muscles. You can combine cleaning, fitness and play to encourage your children to join in. Or stream your favorite playlist and get lost in the music while cleaning on the move. For me personally, cleaning on the move will help me stay away from devouring everything in the fridge.
Here are 4 simple ways you can transform your housework into a workout.
- Vacuum lunges. I’m not a huge fan of lunges but that’s only because I’m super horrible at remembering to stretch after workouts. However, performing some Walking Lunges while vacuuming is a great way to get those carpets dust free and strengthen your glutes and thighs. I mean, you’re already walking. Why not walk and lunge? As you’re moving around the room, remember to keep your knees above your ankles and your back straight. To top it off, you can use the vacuum to hold your balance while you perform a Standing Lunge Stretch to stretch out those activated muscles. Hold your stretch, count to 20, switch to the other leg and repeat.
- Take the stairs. Normally, I try cleaning one floor before moving to the next. It’s not because I’m lazy. I just like to finish what I’m doing downstairs before moving upstairs. Well, it’s partially because I’m lazy at times and I don’t feel like doing all of that moving around anyway. However, this spring cleaning will be different. I am making multiple trips up and down the stairs to put things where they belong as I touch them and you should do the same. If you’re feeling adventurous, pace yourself and hop up a couple of stairs (min-squats) and have the kids join you. To top it off, use the stairs to stretch your calves because they will be pretty tight. A Heel Drop Stretch will help those calves out tremendously. Stand with the balls on your feet on the edge of a step. Drop one heel toward the floor while slightly bending your other leg. Repeat on the other side.
- Wax on, wax off. For those of us who are seasoned enough to remember the original Karate Kid movie, we will never forget hearing “wax on, wax off”. Not only will we never forget hearing those words, but we also could never forget mocking those movements. While scrubbing the shower, mopping the floor or cleaning those mirrors, channel your inner Mr. Miyagi and make those shoulders go to work. For those not-so-comfortable, lower spots, invite your little “Daniel-san” to help you out. To top it off, Walk Climb is a simple and easy way to stretch out your shoulders. Facing the wall, stand straight up and slowly walk your fingers upward while stepping in toward the wall. Walk your fingers back down and return to the starting position. Repeat as needed.
- Dance and dust. If you’re a fan of Zumba or MixxedFit, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this idea more than the others. When I was a kid, dusting was no fun. My grandmother expected us to not only dust tabletops but the legs of the table and every inch of the chairs as well. Although I’m appreciative of the lesson, if she had turned on the radio, the clock would have moved a bit faster. While you’re dusting, blast your favorite tunes and dance! Dancing is a fantastic form of cardio and will get your heart pumping. Move your arms, stomp your feet, be silly with the kids and just have fun. To top it off, search YouTube for a deep full-body stretch to get your arms, legs, and back relaxed.
Join me in ignoring the chocolate chip voices from the pantry.
Let’s clean and organize our homes by taking advantage of physical movements while also uplifting our mental and emotional wellness. Even though cleaning up will not burn the same amount of calories as a CrossFit workout, it’s a physical activity that will keep our hearts just as happy.
Our hearts and homes will thank us for it!