Sweating the House
Work(out) By Mark Nelson
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Being a domestic god or goddess isn't easy.
You want windows that let all the sun in. Floors that gleam. Toilets that
sparkle. But you still want to stay in bathing-suit shape for those days by the
pool on Mount Olympus.
So what do you do? Try the Housework
A recent British study revealed that the
average Brit burned over 50,000 calories a year doing housework. That's equal
to burning almost 15 pounds of fat.
Now, I'm not saying that housework should
replace workouts. But if you take the right approach to keeping your house
clean, you can really burn fat and tone muscle. And who doesn't want to do
So how do you start firming and cleaning?
Before you work out, be sure to warm up to keep from pulling a muscle. Turn on
some lively music to help you keep an upbeat pace. Take deep breaths to stay
energized. And have your cleaning supplies ready to go.
The Housework Workout includes eight
exercises that will help you get in shape from head to toe, while
making your home look great. So let's start:
- Tone your triceps
- shine your windows. Grab a towel, spray the window,
and do 10 circles to the right, then 10 to the left. The more you put into it,
the more you get out of it. Then use the same moves to polish your tables,
countertops, and anything else that's gathering dust. Keep a brisk pace and
you'll definitely feel the burn in your shoulders and triceps. (30
minutes = 107 calories)
- Work your thighs
with a vacuum. But don't just vacuum - lunge! Tense
your muscles as far as you can while pushing the vacuum back and forth. As you
lunge, keep your toes pointed forward, and bend your knees. Go slowly so you'll
get a good stretch, and you'll work the backs of your legs and buttocks. Vacuum
your couches and pillows, and you'll really feel the burn. (60 minutes
= 238 calories)
- Lift your iron for
a curvier butt. While ironing, squeeze your butt
cheeks together for 10 seconds. Do this 10 times every couple of minutes, and
you'll notice a difference in your muscle tone. Your bottom will hold in a
semi-flexed position for up to 20 minutes after working the muscle. And don't
forget to flex and stretch your shoulders and arms. (30 minutes = 80
- Get your thighs
burning while cleaning clothes. Squat slowly as you
pick up dirty laundry, while keeping your back straight and heels on the floor.
Include one squat for every piece of laundry you put into the basket. And just
watch your legs, buttocks, and thighs firm up. (15 minutes = 71
- Step up for clean
shelves and great legs. Climb up and down a short
stepladder (three or four steps) 10 times, alternating your feet. While you're
up there, organize your shelves. By stepping up and working with your arms held
high, you'll not only work out your legs, but your arms and shoulders, too.
(60 minutes = 214 calories)
- Scrub your
floors for sexy arms and abs. Drop the mop and get on
your hands to scrub the floor. Cleaning your sink or bathroom by hand will also
firm your arms and core. The harder you work, the better. And remember to push
yourself by extending and exaggerating your arm movements. (60 minutes
= 258 calories)
- Use that broom to
work your shoulders and core. Don't vacuum the
kitchen floor - sweep it. And get outside to sweep your patio, sidewalk, and
driveway. When sweeping, be sure to work your obliques by pivoting at your
waist. And when you bend down with the dust pan, do a few squats. Your thighs
will thank you. (60 minutes = 272 calories)
- Make the bed for
better upper-body tone. Take off the sheets, turn the
mattress, pull the sheets straight, and plump those pillows - and you'll burn
lots of calories. Stretch across the bed, and you'll also work your core and
upper back. (30 minutes = 68 calories)
Add extra moves to burn more calories.
mopping and sweeping to your music, include the boxer's bounce - that rhythmic
bobbing and weaving boxers do - to your tasks. You'll add strength training to
your workout without using weights. You may also find yourself finishing each
job in less time. And since you're adding moves, why not drop and do a few
push-ups or crunches? All this can really make a difference by helping you burn
fat and add muscle.
Aim to burn 500 calories per day.
If you can do that each day, you'll burn a
pound of fat per week. Of course, don't forget that you're burning calories
when you walk the dog (30 minutes = 150 calories), go shopping
(30 minutes = 122 calories), and the list goes on.
Whatever you do, the idea is to set a fast
pace, and look for ways to add resistance to each move. When you do, you'll
become a calorie-burning machine.
As helpful as it is, the Housework Workout
won't replace a good Beachbody® workout. But by
making simple changes to your housekeeping routine, you can achieve sensational
weight loss results. Your house will be cleaner than ever. And that can only
elevate your status as a domestic god or goddess.