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  • Double Duty Beauty: Clean Your House and Get a Great Workout

    Double Duty Beauty: Clean Your House and Get a Great Workout

    by Jenn Givler

    How often do you pay attention to your heart rate when you’re vacuuming? Do you notice that it can get up there pretty nicely, or do you slog through pushing that beast around just to get it done? What about dusting? Ever notice that your house is sort of like an obstacle course? (Obstacle courses can be great workouts!)

    For a 150 pound woman, vacuuming for an hour can burn 238 calories. Dusting can burn 170 caloriesand rigorously scrubbing her floors or her bathroom could burn an additional 250 to 280 calories! Girlfriend, you now have a solution for those late night nibble sessions!

    But let’s be honest, you’re not going to burn a calorie unless you roll up your sleeves and bust a move like you mean it! How can you tell if you’re getting a good workout while you’re cleaning?

    Here are some ways that you can make your chores your new fitness routine:


    1. Plan your chores like you’d plan a workout.

    Think about combining chores that will give you a total body workout, and take enough time to really make it count. For example, plan to do all of your chores in one shot and plan to do lighter chores first as a warm-up, then rigorous chores, and then some lighter chores to use as a cool down. You could do some dusting, then vacuuming, then scrub the bathrooms, and then end with mopping the floors.

    If you’ve never used chores as a workout before, make sure you’re doing at least 20 minutes, and that your heart rate is elevated to get fitness benefit. To make sure your heart rate is high enough to count as exercise, you should feel winded, and talking should take some effort. If you know your target heart rate, take your pulse and check in a couple times during your cleaning.

    2. Fit your cleaning into your overall activity plan for the week.

    Overall, you want to aim, on the low-end for 3 hours of activity per week that can be classified as “fitness.” On the higher end, you could aim for 5 to 6 hours per week. (Remember – you don’t have to kill yourself with fitness to reap the rewards. 30 minutes 3 to 5 times a week is a great goal to work toward.)

    Once you have established how much activity you’d like to do, figure out how your household chores might fit into that mix.

    3. If you don’t have time to clean it all, plan your chores in shorter bursts.

    Three 10-minute bursts of activity are just as effective as one 30-minute session. If you divide your chores  throughout the week, you could clean your bathrooms one day, clean the kitchen the next, then dust and vacuum the next. And that can  be counted toward your fitness activity, depending on duration and rigor.

    4. Remember the BIG JOBS, too!

    Those bigger household jobs like painting, mulching, and cleaning the garage count too. Just track your time and intensity.

    I love it when it’s time to mulch our flower beds. I can count on at least 2 hours of heavy-duty, rigorous work, and I definitely count that toward my workout time. I also really like painting for the same reason. Rolling paint really gives your arms a run for their money… come to think of it, if you roll in just the right way, you could fit some squats in too ;)

    5. Get creative!

    If you really want to get creative, see if you can fit traditional weight training or cardio exercises into your chores. For example, do some squats or lunges as you put clothes in the washer and dryer. If you’ve got lots to take upstairs, do some stair run sets. Putting dishes away? Why not turn that into bicep curls, plies or shoulder raises?

    It’s hard enough to fit it all in a 24-hour day. Being able to combine routines like this lightens up the load of our to-do lists and leaves more time for you to kick up your feet a bit more often feeling fit, healthy and confident for all your hard work and healthy living habits!

    Jenn Givler is a fitness and wellness coach. She helps women break their fitness hiatus in a non-judgmental, non-competitive environment. You don’t have to become a fitness guru, or shove exercise into an already hectic schedule. If you’ve been feeling the nudge to get moving again, Jenn can help. Check out her web site for tips, ideas, and her free report: Easy Ways To Get Moving Again.

    Coming up VERY soon is our BE Clean program: 30 Days to Clean & Green Your Home! With a focus on decluttering, time management and personal organization, you’ll literally be taking the weight off your shoulders and feeling better than ever!

    Our Be Clean! Program will be coming out very soon and the program starts April 19!  Registration is open!

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    One Response to “Double Duty Beauty: Clean Your House and Get a Great Workout”

    1. By RawGuru on Dec 30, 2010

      Ha! I’ve never thought of planning housework like a work out, but it makes perfect sense. Yes, i don’t mess around when i vacuum, i go full force and i usually get pretty sweaty. No wonder my grandmother whose house is in pristine shape always has stayed so fit. = )


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