During the coronavirus quarantine, activities of daily living (ADLs) are the tasks and chores that we still have to complete regularly as part of our daily routines. Fortunately for you if you’re reading this (hopefully you’ve read our first article in this series) you can have fun doing away with the idea of going to the gym entirely and turning your chores into a workout instead! Many chores can actually contribute to maintaining our strength and agility and burn calories, simply by keeping us active.
Doing a more thorough job of the task at hand and appreciating the body (yours) that’s doing it, doesn’t cost you a dime. You just need to think a bit more about what your body is doing while you do it, that’s all. Starting to think of daily chores as opportunities to exercise and reflect for a few moments on your own well-being rather than thinking of them as being time-wasters is a great way to make them far more appealing! Read on for Turning 5 Key Chores into Your New Workouts -Part 2!
Dusting can sometimes seem like a never ending chore – no matter how scrupulously you do it, that familiar grey fluff is always back with a vengeance in a couple of days.
But the physical movements performed while dusting can mimic relaxing stretches and even facilitate controlled poses, like those you may perform in yoga.
Next time you reach up high and stretch your arms to dust that hard-to-reach picture rail, linger in that pose for a few more moments. Or when you’re bending your body sideways to get at that dusty nook around the corner, focus on controlling your movements and more consciously engaging your core muscles.
2. Washing the Car
Washing that large metal monster that is the family car can often seem like a daunting task, especially if the weather isn’t looking too hot. But did you know that washing the car by hand for 30 minutes can burn up to 135-150 calories alone?
In addition, not only can it serve as some pretty effective cardio if you’re scrubbing with purpose, it’ll give your forearms, upper arms, shoulders, core and back muscles a full service into the bargain too, not to mention a shinier car at the end of it! Not a bad deal eh?
You can even add in a bit of leg work by doing a few calf raises with an isometric-pause in between when you’re reaching the roof of the car, and also a few squats when it’s time to polish those rims and get at those tyres.
3. Making the Bed
For most of us, our beds are touching at least one, often two walls, making changing the bed linen quite the job. Hooking the bed sheet over the mattress corners on the far end, only to have them ping back several times, requires a decent level of skill and persistence, as well as a high level of core engagement.
Think about it: the position we often end up adopting to put the sheet down is somewhat reminiscent of a plank – a one armed plank at times! Changing the bed sheets is so much more than a household chore; it’s a core workout, arm strengthening session, and quite possibly in some cases, a quick cardio burst too.
Try this for fun: when it comes to changing your bed sheets see if you can hold the edges and fling the sheet onto your mattress using your lats (back muscles) with fingertip control and get it to land in place on the first try. Now that’s a stylish move!
4. Mopping the Floor
Mopping the floor with a mop, a bucket and your arms can seem pretty boring…but wait! While mopping use this tried and tested method that will engage your arms and back muscles more. Why not change up your mopping technique to target some different muscle groups?
To keep it interesting, place one damp soapy rag under one foot, and a clean dry rag under the other. Then, by performing circular motions, use the leading foot to scrub, and the back foot to dry. You’ll be loosening up your hips as well as targeting muscles in your legs and back.
5. Taking Out the Trash
Perhaps the most hated chore in the house, and also one of the most frequently completed, is taking out the trash. It’s smelly, can be heavy, and you have to head out into the cold. Let’s turn this unpleasant chore to your advantage.
If those bin bags don’t smell too pleasant, hold them at arm’s length with straight arms to keep the stench at bay. Maintaining this position on your way to the outdoor waste bins will really challenge your shoulders and arm muscles, helping to tone them and build muscle. If you move with speed (careful on your way out!) that’s also your legs, core and back also getting in some useful and practical exercise.