All, Nothing, Or Multitasking?
One of the top reasons clients tell me they don’t exercise as much as they would like is because they can’t find the time. I get that. These days, people have become more and more busy; finding it hard to get that recommended 150 to 175 minutes of moderate cardio exercise per week.
That sounds like a lot of time. For the “all or nothing” thinkers, this is the end of it.
If I can’t do what I want, I might as well do nothing.
That’s when I want to shout “You’re making a misssttttaaaakkkkkeeee”
It sucks to be pulled in a million different directions. But saying “not right now” every day might as well be saying “never”. I gotta tell you, you’ll never make exercise a habit thinking like that. So what do you do instead?
I’m sure there are to-do items that are pretty mindless – like cleaning. The good news is you may be able to count on cleaning and chores as a part of your exercise time! Many chores are considered medium intensity cardio or strength training exercises.
First, Get The Right Energy
Put on some energizing music and dance to the beat while you do your chores. This music should be upbeat and some of your favorite Pandora station. Having music will keep you motivated, make the time go by faster, and allow you to have fun while doing housework.
Keep the clothes basket on the floor and add in a squat (with the correct form—click here for a how-to) between each piece of clothing. Or do wall sits (30 to a minute intervals) while you are folding your laundry.
Squat as you pick up a laundry basket and put the laundry away.
Putting groceries away?
Lunge through the kitchen as you put each item away (correct form is key –here’s your how-to).
Vacuuming your entire house?
The forward and back motion is a great workout for your legs, abs and arms. Flex your muscles 1 at a time, beginning at your pelvis and moving into your upper abs, and keep them flexed (or tightened) for the entire duration of your vacuuming. Lunge and squat it out and hold it for a few seconds.
Sweeping or mopping your floors?
While sweeping your floor keep your abdominal muscles flex and squat rather than bend over if you need to get into a hard to reach space.
While your waiting for your food to be done!
Try finding a 15-30 minute workout you enjoy to do while you are cooking food that takes a while. Women’s Health magazine has a great Superfast Total-Body Workout, check it out to work every major muscle group in 15-minues (for dumbbells you can use cans).
Another workout you could try is this 20 Minute Living Room Workout from Happy Healthy Mama:
- 15 squat jumps (how-to)
- 5 push ups
- 25 high knees (how-to)
- 7 burpees (how-to)
- 10 lunges (how-to)
- 7 squats (how-to)
- 5 push ups
- 10 lunges
- 5 push ups
- 7 squats
- 15 squat jumps
- 1 minute wall sit (how-to)
- 5 push ups
- 25 high knees
Repeat 2-3 times
More Exercise While You Cook Ideas
While you are waiting for the microwave or water to boil, do squats and push-ups on the floor or against the wall, or simply march in place.
Do 10 push-ups or 1-minute planks while cooking your food. (How-to-do planks on Greatist).
Do calf raises as you set the table, plate food, or wash the dishes. Even better, have someone else clean up so you can grab a few minutes to do a 7-minute workout. If you have more time, repeat it.
Have Stairs? Take Them.
Run or walk up and down your stairs 5-10 times – set up your schedule of chores to maximize the times you go up and down the stairs.
Errands? Be Your Own People Mover
Use your body as the vehicle to run errands on foot. Instead of driving to the store, walk! Think of the pros: it’s better for the environment, better for your health, and saves money on gas. If walking to the store isn’t an option, park as far from the door as possible to get an extra bit of walking in.
At Work? Move It.
You can literally make about just any activity, more active! You can get extra movement in things you are already doing. Instead of shooting someone an email, deliver the message in person. Change your desk meeting into a walk and talk meeting to fit in work and movement at the same time.
If you are one of those people who work through your lunch, what if you ran an errand and took your lunch break to enjoy yourself instead of slogging through that hour or half-hour? You’ll get some physical activity AND self-care, both of which will help you be more productive in the long-run.
Going through a seemingly endless inbox or stuck at your office desk all day? Stand on foot while you check your emails or do your work.