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Household chores can be a great form of exercise. Combining the two is the perfect form of multi-tasking. Of course, this doesn’t mean loading and unloading the dishwasher is a substitute for a five-mile run. Still, there are chores you can do (and should do) around the house and in the garden to boost your activity during the day.
So, where do you start? Here are some ideas to help you start burning some serious calories around the house.
Gardening – Working in the garden is probably one of the best activities you can do around the house. Both digging and weeding exercise the legs. Carrying bags of dirt tones and strengthens arms. Depending on how long you work, there’s also some heart benefits. And let’s not forget the benefits of fresh air. So, breathe deep and start squatting!
Cleaning the bathroom or kitchen – OK, it’s not the same as going to a fancy gym. Think of the elbow grease you use scrubbing the kitchen floor as a substitute for lifting weights. Maybe throw in a bear crawl as you move across the floor.
Washing the car – Skip the car wash and save some money. This is a chore that can be done slowly but still provide benefits. The important thing is to keep moving while you’re doing it. Remember: wax on, wax off!
Vacuuming the house – If you’re just slowly dragging the vacuum cleaner around, then you’re missing a great opportunity. Add a few lunges and dance moves while getting the dust up. If you’re willing to be a little silly, try standing on one leg!
Remember, almost any household chore can be turned into a form of exercise. Just don’t practice your Zumba moves while you’re on the step ladder!
Originally published 6/5/2017; Revised 2021
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