House chores are usually not so fun. And sometimes working out can also seem like a chore. I have been trying to find ways in my everyday life to work in some exercise while doing the mundane tasks of keeping a house running. Previously I posted about my morning workout routine, which is a quick, 20-30 minute workout I do every morning. But sometimes, even finding that extra 20-30 minutes can be difficult.
Recently, I have been adding some basic exercise moves into my daily chores. Some of these are chores that I do daily, others are weekly chores. Either way, no matter how often you do it, the extra moving is always helpful.
When I vacuum the house, which is at least 1-2 times per week, I try to do lunges to move the vacuum cleaner. With an all tile house, a cat, and two toddlers, vacuuming happens pretty often. Instead of just using my arms to push, I will do lunges with the vacuum. Just make sure you switch off legs, or at least do one side per room and switch to the next. Another option is to make sure you hold your abs in tight and make more of a turning motion when you vacuum.
Folding laundry provides a great opportunity for adding in a workout. When you are folding the clothes, leave them in the basket on the floor. Grab each item individually, and do a squat on the way down. If you have front-loading machines, you can also do a squat-hold as you are switching the clothes from the washer to the dryer.
Rocking a Baby or Toddler
Is your child having a bad day and needing some cuddles? Did they get a booboo? Waking up during the night? There are hundreds of reasons you will be holding your baby or toddler during the day, why not get a workout in?! My youngest is working on his second set of molars, so it’s been a miserable few days/nights for him. And of course, as soon as it bothers him we hear “momma!” being yelled across the house. So I have started doing side lunges when I am holding him. He thinks its fun because it’s more movement, I get a leg workout in. Win, win! Oh, and not to mention the arm workout just from holding his 20+ pound body!
Waiting for the microwave to finish? Do some calf raises to see into the microwave to check on your food. Trust me, calf raises don’t feel like they are doing a lot at the time, but you will feel it later!
Cooking Idle Time
You know that downtime you often have while cooking dinner? Waiting for the water to boil, something baking in the oven, or just have a few minutes until the next step in your prep? These are all great opportunities to do some counter pushups. I stand about 2 feet away from the counter, put my hands at the edges of the counter, and lower and raise my body. It’s like a pushup only a little easier and more vertical.
There are a lot of little exercises you can do while you are reading. I read for at least 10 minutes, sometimes up to an hour, before going to bed. Sometimes I will do a plank while I am reading. Others I will lay on my back and do some leg lifts. They are both great ab exercises that I can do laying in bed.
My boys love to play outside. And living in Texas, the winters are mild enough that we are out a lot right now. While they are playing I will put my sneakers on and grab my jump rope. They are old enough now that they can play by themselves for the most part, and also understand not to get too close while I am jumping.
What have I missed? What other ways can we incorporate some basic workout/exercise into the daily grind of keeping a home up and running?