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Get a workout while doing housework

Hayley doing housework and singing into a broom

I've been asked a few times how to incorporate exercise into an already busy lifestyle, my answer to this is to shift your focus from ‘exercise’ to ‘active living’, move more in your everyday life and spend less time sitting down. Even short-bursts of low-intensity activity could be as effective, or even more so than a single ‘formal’ workout. Doing housework is a great way of burning calories and keeping active.

“Research by Wren Kitchens reveals we burn over 50,000 calories every month, just by doing household chores! That translates to burning 1,478 calories every day.” - Goodhousekeeping magazine.

I like to make a few adaptations to the way I do things around the house to incorporate my exercises, here’s how...

Speed up - From folding away clothes and making beds to washing bathrooms and kitchen sides I do everything that bit faster in order to elevate my heart rate and get the blood pumping. 

Lunges - Lunges are perfect for toning your legs and bum, try slowing down your walk up the stairs and incorporate a lunge. Put your body weight over your front foot (elevated on the step) and push up to the next stair, you should feel this is your front (weight-bearing) leg and the glute (bum) on that same side.

You can also incorporate lunges into vacuuming.

Squats - Housework usually requires a lot of bending down, so when picking up the kids' toys or the laundry basket squat down rather than bending, you’ll engage the large muscles in your legs so will help with toning and calorie burning.

Extend and stretch - Vacuuming is a great one, the pulling and pushing action is much like rowing so think about the stretch and pull motion and use all the muscles in your arms and back. When stretching up high dusting or wiping down door frames really push through the calves and consciously feel the stretch in all your muscles.

Lastly, turn up the music! I can’t do housework without my music on, it’s a great motivator for me, makes it more fun and I move to the beat so naturally, start moving faster.

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