The more we learn about the human body, the more it’s obvious that we do not need to go to the gym to have a workout. There are tons of different ideas, some that are very unconventional, but nonetheless allow us to turn our everyday tasks into a complete workout – spring cleaning being one of them!
Spring cleaning is a thorough domestic clean up of your entire home, room by room, from top to bottom. Wiping, dusting, vacuuming, moving furniture, decluttering and ultimately, throwing away what you do not need to streamline your life and enjoy it more! Spring Cleaning: How to Turn Your Chores into an Amazing Workout!
Spring Cleaning’s Roots
Spring cleaning has its roots in a couple of old traditions that date back to ancient times, as far as 3000 years B.C.
The essence of this tradition encourages cleaning bad luck and misfortune out of your home along with tossing rubbish and broken household items to align with Feng Shui practices. The spring clean up usually starts anywhere from 1st March and continues all the way until the end of April.
Many traditions have different customs for this ritual and provide different reasons to do it. In particular, product manufacturers boost promotions and ads, blogs and magazines flourish with spring cleaning tips, and various campaigns launch. In this article, you can find a way to make this ritual your own and use it as a complete workout!
Inspired to Clean
Fewer hours of daylight trigger the release of melatonin (the hormone that causes sleepiness) in our brains. Now when we see the first rays of sunshine, we will recover our energy and be inspired to deep clean.
It is good training for your brain to remember those pieces of clothing that have been hanging there in your closet perhaps for years without even being worn. Once you’ve selected what you want to clean up or throw away, try these following exercises.
Exercises: Dusting, Sweeping, Mopping
Firstly, be thorough: dust, mop, and sweep below or behind furniture. Make sure you also reach the corners that you might skim over the rest of the year taking advantage of this extra movement. To do this, you should be doing squat or lunge type movements.
Squat Clean: Engage Your Legs & Glutes not Your Lower Back!
Squat while you clean so you engage your legs and glutes – don’t just bend at the hip and put all the pressure on your lower back – you won’t be able to clean for long that way. Plus, you’ll have a sore back into the bargain! This is also a great time to take 5 seconds to check that you’re aware of your posture.
For any movement, focus on how to do it with proper form: use your legs, not your back and bend at the knees. Whenever you need to lift something, never simply default to leaning over (unless you’re familiar with the deadlift), always bend at your knees – the lower, the better.
This includes cleaning toilets: squat or kneel on one knee instead. Not only is this smart pain prevention for your back, it also thoroughly works your lower body.
Lunge while Vacuuming & Pay Attention to Your Arms & Shoulders
Lunge while vacuuming. This adds lower-body strength training to your routine. Make sure to keep your toes pointed straight ahead and don’t be afraid to bend your knees more than 90 degrees. It’s also beneficial for your arms and shoulders. Ensure you switch legs and arms periodically, and you’ll be giving yourself a great, full-body workout.
Gardening in Squat Position
When you’re cleaning outdoor spaces and doing your outdoor chores like gardening try doing them in a low squat.
Get in the Habit of Keeping Your Core Tight
Spring cleaning can also help you tone your abs if you simply stay aware of your physical positions and movements and keep your core ‘tight’.
Ditch Conventional Crunches Twist Downwards and Bend Your Core Instead
You’ll be glad to hear, endless crunches aren’t needed, just keep your abs flexed while you do your chores. Twisting down and around will also help develop your serratus (fan shaped) muscles as well as your latissimus dorsi (back, wing) muscles giving you a better v-taper look. This will also help with your posture.
Cleaning Windows is an Excellent Way to Train Your Shoulders
To gain even better results, try and extend (or accentuate) typical movements making every movement as ‘large’ as possible.
Cleaning windows by using wide, circular movements will develop your arm, shoulder and back muscles whilst engaging your abs, or core, for stability.
Stairway to (Fitness) Heaven
For this chore, those that have stairs are luckier, especially if performing a chore that involves two rooms that are on different floors (such as the laundry room in the basement).
Climb up the stairs and slightly exaggerate the movement, by slowing it down a bit to do some lunges, squats or even climb them three at a time! If you don’t have stairs or have limited mobility, find ways to add more steps or movements such as taking items outside or to and from your car.
Spring Clean Beats
If spring cleaning still does ‘sound’ like a good idea, consider adding some great music. Create a fun playlist with uplifting music that renews your spirit.
This adds a cardiovascular and inspirational element to your cleaning that’s great for your heart. You can also decide to wear cool matching gym gear to boost your mood even more. Always have a water bottle close by so you can hydrate, and also feel renewed energy within.
Maybe what you need to try spring cleaning is a friend! Tell your family members or friends to help you. Use this opportunity to reconnect with someone you haven’t met in a long time or find yourself a workout buddy that can push you to do it. This is a great opportunity for some memorable bonding time!
There’s still time to do your spring cleaning which will be more fun with these tips and improved ways of exercising without a gym or any special or fancy equipment. Even though most of these unique exercise methods are doable by just about, everyone you can always consult your chiropractor for guidance if in any doubt.
Do what you can and remember the incredible benefits that turning chores into exercise has: a fun, free and innovative way to move your body without getting out of the house, without needing a gym or any complex extra equipment! The most important thing here is to reconnect to your strong flow of natural energy and appreciate the wonder of your own human body (which we should never take for granted)!
How’s your spring cleaning going? Which chores are you turning into your own fitness training? Comment your thoughts below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!