How many times have you spent your Saturday morning catching up on laundry, scrubbing the bathroom and washing the floors then noticed that you’ve broken a serious sweat? Turns out, doing household chores is a fantastic workout.
In this article, we share eight easy exercise to do at home while scrubbing, sweeping or putting dishes away. Read on to learn how to get the most out of your intense cleaning sessions.
1. Calf raises while washing dishes
While standing at the sink washing dishes, do some calf raises to tone your lower legs and glutes. How to: Wash a dish, put it on the drying rack, then turn the water off as you do 5 to 10 calf raises. Lift your heels to come high on the balls of your feet, squeezing your calf muscles and glutes as you go.
2. Do squats while putting dishes away
Inspired by one of our 8fit Challenge participants, we encourage you to add some squats to your dishwashing routine when you load or unload the dishwasher, or when you move your dishes from the drying rack to the cupboard. You’ll get a chore done while toning your legs and butt at the same time.
How to: Grab one dish or glass, do one squat, and the place your dish in its spot. As you squat, hinge your hips back and pretend you’re sitting on a chair as you lower yourself down. Keep a proud chest, shoulders back and down, then power up from your heels to complete the movement.
3. Bicep curls while taking out the trash
Bicep curls are a great movement for strengthening and toning your arms. How to: When it’s time to take out the trash, seal your trash bag and do 5-10 bicep curls on each arm. Keep your elbows glued to the side of your body and move with control. If you have a long journey to the outdoor trash receptacle, stop every few steps to repeat your bicep curls.
4. Lunge as you vacuum
The truth is, you may need to vacuum over the same spot several times to clean the carpet effectively, which makes this the perfect chore for added exercise like a lunge. How to: Every time you push the vacuum forward, step into a front lunge. Bring your front knee over your ankle (bent at a 90° angle) as your back knee gently taps the floor. Push off your front leg and use your core muscles to return to start position, doing your best not to rely on the vacuum for support. Keep your chest proud and spine straight throughout the movement.
5. Tone obliques as your sweep
Sweeping is an excellent opportunity to utilize those side abs muscles (i.e., obliques). How to: If you’re sweeping a walkway or driveway to clear leaves and sticks away, hold the broom in both hands and move your arms from side to side. Keep your legs and hips stationary, only twisting your upper body as your sweep to feel the burn in your midsection.
6. Wash windows for an arm and shoulder burn
Grab a cloth and commit to cleaning all the windows in your home to work your arms and shoulders. How to: Use large circular movements while keeping your core tight and engaged. Switch arms at each window.
7. Scrub for a cardio workout
Get your heart rate up while you scrub a bath, sink or standup shower. How to: The faster you scrub, the more your heart rate will increase. Keep all of your active muscles engaged as your scrub and switch arms, so your body is balanced. If you’re feeling ambitious, take this scrubbing workout to the bathroom floor.
8. Dance for fun
Chores don’t have to be boring. Put on your favorite music and dance around the house as you clean. How to: Turn it up loud and take breaks to break it down. Dancing between tasks will help elevate your heart rate and turn chores into an ultimate workout.
Get the most out of your daily chores by incorporating this chore-friendly exercises into your sweeping, dish-washing and vacuuming routines. If you’re still in the mood to move your body after completing your tasks, do a quick 8fit HIIT workout.