As the warmer summer months beckon and time spent outdoors starts to increase, it’s the perfect excuse to de-clutter your surroundings, be it at home or at work. A clean environment helps to maintain a clear head, and the act of cleaning can be therapeutic in itself. Vigorous cleaning can burn up to 90 calories per fifteen minutes; that’s up to 360 calories per hour!
Vacuum cleaning, sweeping and mopping the floor raise the heart rate and can be incorporated into a cardiovascular workout. Lifting and moving heavy objects such as furniture can be incorporated into your strength training, while cleaning windows, hanging curtains and washing walls all have a stretching component. However, with vigorous cleaning comes the risk of over-exertion; necks and backs are particularly at risk of injury.
Make sure to maintain good alignment while doing all of these exercises in order to minimize your chances of injury.
These are a great low-impact exercise to activate the gluteal muscles and core, and can be done while vacuuming the staircase. Keep your knees no further forward than your toes, and bend from the hips as you push up onto the standing leg by squeezing your backside muscles.
Keep your knees bent and core engaged while you use your oblique muscles to rotate your body from the waist while mopping the floor.
Single-leg standing obliques: while washing the windows, engage the lateral abdominal muscles to pull the arms down to the side of the body as you balance on one leg.
Keep your back straight and front knee above your ankle while lunge walking as you sweep the floor. Try to lunge as low as possible while keeping a good technique.