Work Out While Doing Household Chores! Part One – Upper Body

Making sure your living space is taken care of through a steady household routine is important and taking care of your body through a physical fitness routine should also be a priority.  The only problem is that while there may be enough time each day to accomplish one of these tasks, there is not always time to do both consistently.  To save time, why not combine the two? 


The key to making your chores work for you is form.  Just moving each part of your body in the direction you need to go is not going to give you any benefit.  It’s all about engaging the muscles you are targeting, keeping proper posture and maintaining form throughout the movement.  You should have intention with each move.  To start, here are a few chores that target the upper body.


Hand Washing Dirty Pots and Pans

While this may not seem like a very labor-intensive chore, it’s a great place to start your workout.   Stand up straight and engage your abs. Grab those dirty pots and pans and start scrubbing in a circular motion, making sure to apply a decent amount of pressure to create resistance.  After 10 to 12 rotations, switch arms to keep things even.  Keep a straight back while rinsing off dishwasher-safe items.  Use the time loading the dishwasher to stretch the muscles now that they are warmed up. 


Folding Laundry

To maintain proper posture while folding laundry, have a basket nearby to place the freshly dried items into so you are not straining your back to retrieve every piece of clothing as you go along.  Lift each item out of the basket, shake out the wrinkles and fold each item without pausing for too long.  Constant movement will help burn those calories!


Cleaning Your Countertops

Stand firm in front of your countertop with a slight bend in your knee.  You want the lower half of your body to be stable throughout the movement.  Using your rag or piece of paper towel make 10-12 circular motions with one arm and then the other.  Apply pressure to create resistance as you did while scrubbing your dirty pans.  Make sure your body is not leaning over the countertop or you will lose the impact on your abdominal muscles, biceps, and triceps.


Be sure to check out Part Two of our series as we discuss working your lower body muscles.


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