I’ve had my house-arrest days – the babies are sick sometimes – both together, the husband is travelling. Opening up the yoga mat is just not an option and even going down to the society gym is out of bounds! Yes – this is serious house arrest and many mothers like me have tasted it.
But days like these – I don’t lack the energy, I lack time! So recently when time decided to stare me in my face as an enemy – I decided to get the better of it by getting an awesome workout!
I decided to do Household Chores - and the ones that are not related to running pretty errands. Am talking about grassroot level – Sweeping and Mopping! And it’s ok if you don’t agree and you don’t like it! But it’s working for me! I tell myself – the combination of physical activities is great!!
Yes, I know that one would rather sweat out in the gym and feel all good about the sports gear and the sweat trickling down! Hey - but this is exactly for those days - when you can't, but still want to sweat from a great workout!
Does House-work even count as exercise?
Yes and No.
Yes – If you pick one activity religiously – like mopping the floor and do it twice a week over many months. The intensity and time both matter for it to be called a full blown workout! Just to add variety – a 45-minute house cleaning workout is great!
No – because you cannot just depend upon it completely for your fitness goals! It can be a part of your weekly routine, it adds variety, I think its fun too! But it can’t give you a complete range of workout that the gym can. The amount of calories you would lose in a gym 3 times a week, various muscle groups may not happen with a house cleaning workout!
So, here’s the Housework Workout!
- Make your own bed – helps with Bending and Stretching! And beyond that, it's a good feeling too.
- Taking the stairs – I live on the 11th floor. Running up and down the stairs is a great aerobic workout! I set myself up a timer and do two rounds. Coming down is harsh on the knees so I take the lift. After 2 rounds of going up 11 floors – I am left sweaty and feeling even more energized.
- Mop the floor – This one tops the list when it comes to benefits! Am yet to find a workout as complete as this one. From bending to stretching the arms, toning the thighs and glutes, working on the abs - Indian poocha style is amazing! If you haven’t done this in ages, be ready to for sore arms especially. Wringing the mop with your hands is not as easy as it looks! I also figured that if you use long strokes towards your body – It is one hell of a workout! Strength Workout!
- Carry your own groceries – from the grocery store to your kitchen – This is about an active lifestyle! You don’t need house arrest for this. I challenge myself to it all the time. Carrying two big bags of fruits, vegetables and other groceries. Sometimes I deliberately park my car in the second level basement and avoid the lift to take the stairs with my 10 kg grocery bags. The arms get an unforgettable workout!
- Scrub the glass windows – Make sweeping movements while rubbing the glass windows. For example, when you are cleaning the doors or windows, take long swipes from top to bottom, squatting (not bending!) to reach the lower spots. Brilliant for the shoulders and arm strength! .
- Sweep: While sweeping tuck your stomach and oblique muscles in, Back straight and bring the bristles of the broom as far as possible and pull in.
- My observation is that a lot of women tend to overeat the day they end up doing household chores. The feeling of having got done a lot at home – leads to a bit of loneliness and we end up stress eating too.
- We also end up eating a lot more thinking we worked out a lot more. I won’t equate an hour of proper training in the gym to an hour of household chores! It’s an alternative for me – house arrest alternative.
And while you chose this madness, don’t forget to turn on the music system! You need all the motivation to do something you hardly do!