by Keila Chaliotis, Staff Writer
In today’s fast paced world and with today’s economy many people are trying to find ways to save a buck or two and time. For those of you who have gym experience, you can do gym exercises at home with ease. You can your daily household chores to burn a few more calories while toning your body in an appropriate manner. If you are housewife or do chores after work, then this is a good way to burn calories and release some stress.
Many may be surprised at how many calories and the health benefits that daily household chores have. A strict diet and a hardcore workout routine at a gym are not the only ways to get into and keep in shape. Before we begin, whether or not we are doing household chores for exercise or because we have to, we need to protect our backs while doing them. Herniated discs are a common problem, especially in women, due to sharp forward bending. Stretching your body, as in most exercises, is a must in order to avoid back problems and also to warm up your core body. In fact, a few abdominal sit-ups or crunches before you start will strengthen your core body and abs for household chores. Make sure you use you core muscles every time you carry out a movement in each chore. This may sound more tiring but it also means you may be burning more calories.
Make sure you have the right gear. What gear? Well, make sure your broom and mop are long enough such that you don’t have to bend over to carry out the sweeping or mopping. If you need to bend forward slightly you will be charging your spine with extra weight and force, which is no good in the long run. Your body must be constantly vertical while you use your arms to do the cleaning. You should not use any hip movement. Use the same posture when vacuuming. However, given a vacuum cleaner is shorter than a broom, bent your legs slightly such that you remain with a straight back. Vacuuming for thirty minutes will burn at least 80 calories. Sweeping or mopping will burn at least 100 calories for the same amount of time.
When cleaning requires you to pick up something or move an object, make sure you squat with a straight back. Remain in squatting position for at least ten seconds before rising up. This technique is good when you are dusting objects and you are required to bend forward. You can burn at least 180 calories by moving furniture around.
Another household chore that must be done is washing dishes and cookware. Hopefully the kitchen sink is at least at waist height. If so, keep your back straight and try to do the washing while keeping your elbows bent at 90º angles. A good way to keep your back straight is to stand on one leg while the other leg rests. Once the standing leg tires, switch with the resting leg and alternate between legs while you carry out the chore. As you place the plates from the sink to their drying area, make sure not to use any hip action. Washing dishes will burn you at least 40 calories for every 10 minutes.
A weekly chore is ironing clothes. If you often iron clothes make sure you have an ironing table or platform that is at least waist-high to avoid leaning forward while ironing. Keep your back straight, with one leg standing and alternating between legs. Make sure to use your arm strength to press the iron against the clothes and not your body weight. If you get tired use your other arm to support yourself against the platform, such that your spine is not strained from the leaning.
Now something fun to do, while doing something that must be done. We must all eat and what better way than to cook something healthy. Most Americans spend around 30 minutes for cooking dinner, which burns around 70 calories. If you must be constantly looking at the food or stirring, then you can do some shoulders squeezes or walking in place. If you don’t have to look at the food while it is getting cooked you can dance. The more you dance the more calories you burn. In fact adding music to other household chores will increase fun and the pace at which you carry out your chore. Thus, will be burning calories without feeling it.
So, grab a broom and sweep away some pounds while you iron your body into shape. A good, fun day of house chores can easily burn you just as many calories as a gym workout will. However, you will be saving time and money (transportation and gym costs) while having fun in your own home.