Who says you need an arduous workout routine or gym membership to stay in shape? There are so many opportunities to keep active at home. Helen Stirrup, Occupational Health Advisor at Stannah shares five exercise hacks that can easily be worked into your daily routine:
1. Make the most out of the menial
With everyday life comes the inevitable household chores. So, make the most of the menial with a little extra movement. Any activity, if done as vigorously as possible, will get your heart pumping — and see your housework done in half the time!
When giving your home a quick once-over with the hoover, try lunging to strengthen your leg muscles. If you want to work on your arms, cleaning windows and mopping are great ways to feel the burn. On average, cleaning windows burns 174 calories per hour, while mopping burns 194. Squats will work your whole body, so why not have a go while you’re hanging out the washing? Don’t worry about looking daft — every little helps. Combine as many chores as possible for a circuit packed with stretches, cardio and lifting!
2. No equipment? No excuse!
Not having the right equipment is no excuse to avoid getting a sweat on! There’s a wealth of content online with step-by-step guides, on sites like YouTube. Whether it’s a 15-minute-high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout or a gentle 30-minute yoga session, otherwise simply jogging on the spot in your front room to raise your heart rate, moving your body regularly in any way will help to keep you supple and strong.
Dancing is another exercise which requires zero equipment, and yet has many benefits — from helping to improve balance, to keeping your brain sharp. Better yet, it’s a fun way to keep fit. So, turn up the radio and have a boogie in the kitchen like no one’s watching! Complementing your cleaning routine with your favourite tunes will also give you a boost.
3. Look for opportunities to move
This could be as simple as leaving the remote control by the TV, requiring you to walk over to change channels. Equally, the steps you take to visit the kitchen to make a hot drink or glass of water all count towards your daily movement – as well as keeping you hydrated.
Every step really does count and activity like this replaces (or breaks up) sedentary time, which has been claimed to be as dangerous for our health as smoking. Ultimately, small but regular movements throughout the day will accumulate to help you achieve a healthier body.
4. Play with your pet
If you own a pet, spend quality time with them by running around in the garden, playing with toys or even enjoying a game of ‘hide and seek’. There’s also a new trend for ‘dog yoga’ if you fancy if you fancy a slower paced activity that improves your strength and flexibility. This will not only entertain and keep your furry friend occupied, but ensure you stay active too.
5. Potter around the garden
Enjoying your garden is one way of staying active. Gardening is a form of exercise that works the whole body, helping to strengthen bones, muscles and joints, while also keeping blood pressure at bay. In fact, an hour of gardening can help burn 288 calories.1 Pottering outside will certainly help your step count too — which a number of apps and devices can help you track.
An extra benefit of being green-fingered is growing and consuming nutritious, home-grown and seasonal produce, which is also good for our bodies. Being out in the fresh air can also work wonders for your mental health, improving your mood and helping you feel more relaxed. As we move into the warmer seasons, there really is no better time to step out and enjoy the sunshine. Embrace later life and make more time for yourself by looking after your body. The wonderful news is that you don’t have to look further than your own home, in order to feel healthier and happier!
Want to know how many calories are burned when you do housework? https://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/exercise/tips/housework_workouts.htm