Looking for ways to incorporate fitness into your daily life? For those of us who find it hard to schedule in time at the gym, housework can be another option. Housework burns calories and can help you strengthen and tone your muscles, not to mention make your home look great. Additionally, if you’re trying to save money, replacing a gym membership with at-home fitness can trim costs as well as your waistline.
Here are some simple exercises you can do at home while you do laundry.
STRETCH & SORT
Set up three Comfort Carry or Hip-Hugger laundry baskets on the floor. One piece at a time, extract garments from your laundry hamper stretching down into the basket and up through the air towards the ceiling, before tossing each garment into the appropriate basket (whites, colors, darks). This is a good warm-up, since it starts with less stretching when the hamper is full, with forward stretches deepening as the hamper empties.
ONE-LOAD “CIRCUIT TRAINING”
Instead of watching TV during the wash-and-dry cycle (unless you’re on a home treadmill!), walk or run with the dog outdoors or do some cleaning in the house or yard.
LIFT & GO
After folding clean laundry, do some arm curls with the basket before putting the clothes away. Standing in place with legs shoulder-width apart, pick up the basket, bending at your knees. Stand upright and bring the basket towards your face curling your arms, bending up at the elbow. Do three sets of six repetitions, resting in between, and work up the number of reps and sets as they become easier.
Note: Both the Contour and Hip Hugger baskets have soft-grip pads and knuckle guards to protect your hands.
Holding aforementioned basket of laundry securely in front of you, ascend the steps in your home, moving slowly for maximum exertion of glutes and leg muscles. Carry load back downstairs and start again from scratch, repeating several times.
Note: For safety, don’t overload basket because that could reduce your visibility and falling garments could pose tripping hazards.
Always be sure to consult your family physician before embarking on a new fitness regimen, especially if you are new to exercise. Also, never push yourself to the point of exertion: if you feel faint, breathless or dizzy, stop and get medical attention.
Great Chores Include: Raking leaves or grass
Be sure to stretch and flex those muscles for maximum benefit, opting for wide, smooth movements.