We’ve made it through the long winter and spring is finally here and in full swing! ‘Tis the season for baseball, sunny days, green things growing and everyone’s favorite activity: spring cleaning! Since free time is something that most of us don’t have an abundance of, it’s good to know that you can easily multitask while engaging in your spring cleaning chores. According to My Fitness Pal heavy cleaning can burn up to 250 calories per hour, making it a worthwhile fitness activity. And, by adding in just a few simple moves to your cleaning routine, you can burn even more!
Here’s six ways to fire up your heart rate, engage your muscles and get a calorie-blasting workout while you get your spring cleaning on:
1. Blast your favorite heart-pumping tunes
Before you start cleaning, make a playlist of music that gets you pumped. Think about songs that you listen to when going for a run or doing a cardio workout at the gym. Music with an upbeat rhythm is more likely to make you not only clean faster, but help you have fun while doing it. Go ahead and blast that music and dance around with that mop or duster (and burn a ton of calories while doing it!). You’ll discover a whole new appreciation for cleaning.
2. Scrub, Scrub, Scrub!
Whether you’re scrubbing the shower, wiping down cabinets, or on your hands and knees washing the floor it’s easy to tone your arms, shoulders and even your abs! Exaggerate your movements and make big circular motions while you scrub and try to use a little more intensity. Engage your core by contracting your abs and think about trying to push the surface away from you that your scrubbing. That extra resistance will help tone and build your muscles while making your shower, cabinets and floors sparkly and clean!
3. Walk up and down the stairs (and repeat)
We’ve all heard that taking the stairs is a smart and easy choice for better physical fitness. If you live in a home that has a set of stairs, take advantage! Any time you need to take a trip up or down the stairs, take a few extra laps. Stair laps are not only a great cardiovascular workout, but tone the muscles in the legs and glutes as well.
4. Add lunges whenever possible
When you’re doing any kind of repetitious standing movement (such as vacuuming or sweeping), it’s easy to tone your legs and glutes by adding in a few lunges. To ensure proper form, take a big step with one leg forwards or backwards, create a 90-degree bend in both legs, equally distribute your weight between your front and back feet and lower your front knee towards the ground. Be careful not to extend your front knee too far in front of your big toe and keep your upper body straight (avoid leaning forward). Be sure to alternate legs!
5. Twist and engage
A great core workout doesn’t have to involve crunches. When you’re doing a chore that requires putting things away (such as dishes), brace your abs and twist from your waist. Make sure that your twists are controlled and not in a jerking motion (which could cause an injury!). The combination of engaging your abs and twisting to each side will fire up your abs and obliques, which will help create a fantastic waistline.
6. Raise Your Calves
Any activity that requires standing (such as dusting or cleaning counter-tops) sets you up perfectly for a lower-leg workout and allows for easy multitasking. While you’re standing, raise up on your toes, pause for a moment and then return to a flat-footed stance. Try to do 20 calf raises in a row before taking a small break. Try doing separate sets with your toes pointed in, out and forward to engage various parts of the calves.