In another article for My Fitness Tunes this week, I wrote about the different ways that doing demanding chores around the home can actually increase upper body strength. This can be used as a workout, especially for older women, who often want to go to the gym, but simply do not have time. Along with this topic, there are several other ways to get in shape simply by working in your home. One way to build up cardio strength and burn calories is to clean that pesky basement or attic. While this may seem like a mundane weekend chore, several components will actually serve as a great cardio workout without ever leaving the house.
Many people dread cleaning and organizing their attics and basements and actively avoid doing it; however, this chore can actually be a fun and productive way to complete cardio exercise for the week. To begin, simply climbing up the stairs to the attic or basement will get the heart pumping and the lungs working immediately. Start with the motivation to organize the space, and charge up (or down) the stairs to get started. Once in the space, it is helpful to make a game plan to tackle the job, while keeping exercise in mind. It might be good to start with organizing smaller boxes or items and working up to the larger boxes. Lifting the small boxes will serve as a warm up for the arms and heart. Next, move on to the larger, heavier boxes. This will not only serve as a way to strengthen biceps and triceps, but it is sure to get the heart pumping. Think about other times when you have tried to clean up the space, and you will remember breaking a sweat and feeling exhausted afterward. This means that you are getting the cardio benefits of the cleaning workout.
Once the boxes have been lifted and cleared, use a broom, mop, or vaccum to clean the floors. The forward motion of pushing will stretch out the arm muscles even more. Complete the cleaning tasks at a moderate to high rate of speed for the ultimate cardio effect. This is a far gentler workout than running, but still benefits the heart and lungs. Scrubbing pieces of furniture or dusting in the space will even further the cardio exercise. For added cardio benefits, run up and down the stairs several more times during the cleaning process. Reps of five during breaks are sure to get your heart rate up. One point of safety to note, if the stairs are too narrow or steep to climb more than once, do not attempt this cardio exercise. Simply try to move more quickly around the attic or basement for a similar cardio effect.
Many people have spaces to clean but never get the time to dedicate to organizing these forgotten corners of the home. Combine your attic and basement cleaning day with a little extra activity to create a perfect in home cardio exercise routine.