Exercise While Cleaning and Doing House Work

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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?

Multitask It

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.

Folding Laundry?

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.

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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.

 Whew, I’m Tired Just Sharing These Ideas… What are yours?

Join the #Spring2Wellness Challenge Today (3 more weeks left)

Spring (1)Since the start of spring, over 1,000 people have been enjoying their time learning new tips for motivation, recipes and workouts absolutely FREE with my latest challenge, “Spring 2 Wellness.”

It’s not to late to join in. We have three more weeks left of weekly challenge emails. Sign up here.

After you complete it, I’ll be sharing my 7-day “feel good guide” (also free). Then you’ll get messages from me ongoing 1-2 times a month, with some of my favorite tools, tips and resources right to your inbox.

Read on if you would like to catch up and get some wellness in your life instantly! Next challenge goes out Friday April 25th,

Spring 2 Wellness Week 1

Week 1 was all about goal setting.

Your intention is your commitment to take action. Start by (1) get a clear on what you want and why you want it and (2) WRITE IT DOWN or it isn’t happening.

I will ______ on (or by) ________.

Check out this link for more goal setting tips 9 Habits For a Happier Healthier Life

Sign up for the challenge

Spring2Wellness Week 2

Week 2: plan, plan, plan.

You know the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Even if you can eek by without planning, imagine how much more could you get done with healthy living if you plan. You save time, you’re more clear on your goals, and you’re more likely to stick to them when you feel like bailing.

Learn how to meal plan like a boss.  Meal planning makes grocery shopping much more efficient (saving you time and money), and keeps your mind set on eating healthy.

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Spring2Wellness Week 3

Week 3: Move to the rhythm of the work out

Turn something dreadful into something less dreadful.  Let’s face it, you may not feel like working out at all.  It’s tiring, takes up time or uncomfortable.  It’s OK.  Do it anyway.

Use music as a distraction and it can make your workouts more fun.  Think of some of your favorite songs, create a play list, and I dare you not to move to them!

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Spring2Wellness Week 4

Week 4’s challenge was all about meditation.

While I love yoga, I could never seem to get into meditation. My brain is constantly thinking, moving from one idea to the next. Trying to control or stop my thoughts seems like the opposite of what I am supposed to do.

However, after trying to give my self 1 to 5 minutes every morning to just do nothing, I could see how it helped me feel more positive and energized for a great day. I got a real boost to my health and happiness.

I wrote an article published on US News: Health, check it out, it talks more about Mediation and how and why you should try it.

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Spring2Wellness Week 5

Are you dying to know? Sign up for the challenge and you’ll see what’s up my sleeve next.

We’re Up! #Spring2Wellness Challenge is On – Are You In?

Spring (1)

I am so excited to kick off my #Spring2Wellness Challenge and share fun and easy tips with you all! it’s not too late to sign up! If you need to get over a winter slump and want more energy, more fun, and more happiness! Come on and join the party!

What Do I Get, Rebecca?

Joining the challenge is the only way to get my exclusive tips, motivations, recipes, ideas and more. I’ll save you time by finding some of my internet faves and put it right in your inbox! Did I mention it’s free yet?

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

This is Not A Diet Plan

This is simply a way to challenge yourself to become healthier. I will not tell you “tips to lose weight.” Instead, I will be sharing my personal experiences and tips, recipes and more!

For example, I know that almost everybody LOVES avocados; they are yummy and offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving. So I want to share with you a great little article I found that shares 7 different ways to use (eat) avocados! Check it out: http://bit.ly/1CM8rDG

If you aren’t familiar with my non-diet approach to healthy living, read more about my philosophy and check out what others say testimonials from real clients.

Let’s Get It Started – Goal Setting

Last week, I asked #Spring2Wellness challengers to set a goal and what you want out of this.

You Can Do It: Write a personal mission statement.

A personal mission statement helps you decide at critical moments in your day what to do with your time and energy. It describes what type of person you want to be and what you want to achieve in your life. It can be as simple and short as one sentence.

Here’s mine I’m using for the challenge:

Give myself the tools I need to do my work and be there for my family with energy, compassion, and love!

This personal mission will help me focus on the importance of eating well, sleeping, and getting joyful exercise, even if it is super short, as in a 10 minute workout – better than zero, right?

Without a personal mission statement, our lives can seem chaotic, overly busy, with no real focus or drive.

Joining the challenge is the ONLY way you can receive the exclusive content in this challenge.

I’m In!

Awesome! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

Enlist A Crew

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask you friends to join by sending them this blog post and sharing it on social media.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 30-day wellness challenge. Get healthier and happier this spring season. #Spring2Wellness

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My Goals for a Healthier, Happier 2015

Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. I was compensated for my time to write this blog and share it on social media. My thoughts are my own.


Hello, 2015!

I love the New Year! While I don’t do “resolutions” in the typical sense, I think the New Year is a great time to set intentions. My commitment to health is life-long and as such, I’m always looking for ways to strengthen my health in ways that are realistic, compassionate and positive.

In my concierge private practice I help my clients focus on 3 key areas of wellness: food, fitness and fun. Borrowing from that mindset I’ve set three of my own self-care goals for a healthier and happier 2015.

Food Goal: Make “Healthy” Easier

As much as I love nutritious and delicious I don’t always have the time to prepare food from scratch. Sometimes I’m even eating on the fly and that is something I’m trying to work on too. Intuitive eating is important to me and it’s the best way for me to know when I need food and when I’ve had enough nourishment. In an effort to edge out time to sit and enjoy my food, I want to look for even more ways to make healthy eating as quick and easy as I can.

One way healthy eating can be made easy is by simplifying meals. Pairing a couple foods together in a “grab and go” style is pretty darn simple. (see my list below)

Yogurt with fruit and granola is a quick, balanced meal or snack.

Yogurt with fruit and granola is a quick, balanced meal or snack.

Whenever I’m putting a meal or snack together I think about the USDA Choose My Plate and I try to hit those components. A healthy and easy breakfast can be as simple as pairing a yogurt with fruit and granola, and it checks all the boxes of providing a balance of nutrients.

Did you know 
the 2010 Dietary Guidelines report the average American consumes only 52% of the recommended three cups of dairy per day? (Source: 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Chapter 4, page 38)

Having yogurt available for a quick meal component or snack is an easy way to make sure you meet your nutrition needs. I also love using yogurts in smoothies or mixed with plain oats to add flavor and nutrients.

If there are kids in your life, consider sharing a yogurt snack with them. Currently, only 26% of teen girls meet the daily requirement for calcium.Adding yogurt as a rich source of calcium would help an additional 25% of girls get the calcium they need. (Source: NHANES 09-10, females 14-19 yrs, NCI Usual Intake Method was used to estimate % below EAR)

Here’s a list of ideas for easy food pairings:

  • any fruit with yogurt and granola
  • any fruit with cheese
  • vegetables with salsa, bean dip, or guacamole
  • eggs with vegetables and cheese
  • yogurt with plain oats and nuts or peanut butter

For more information about yogurt, calcium, and health the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition website has a section on calcium worth checking out.

Fitness Goal: Embrace Joyful Movement

Living an active life is an important ingredient of living a healthy life. Unfortunately most of us don’t get enough exercise and a big part of the problem is we don’t actually enjoy what we’re doing. I love running, but if it means getting on that “dreadmill” you can forget it. I like challenging myself in group classes, but if the instructor is going to try to “motivate” me by focusing on reducing my thighs and getting bikini body ready, I’m out.

I have learned in life that the best type of exercise is the one you actually do. You’re more likely to be consistent with exercise if you are enjoying yourself. This is why I am specifically looking for joyful movement in 2015.

Find the fun in fitness!

Find the fun in fitness!

Here’s how I’m going to do it: before I do my regular workouts, even if I’m looking forward to them, I’m going to set an intention and dedication for the exercise like a little secret gift. “I’m taking care of me today in yoga because I love my sister and I want to be there for her in every way possible.”

The other thing I’m going to do is schedule more non-traditional exercise like going hiking with my family on the weekend. Or running around or dancing with my 2 year old – things she loves to do for a loooooong time. Instead of letting these things be “what I do when I run out of time for MY workout,” I want to appreciate the joy (and health benefits) of these activities as intentional movement.

Instead of stressing about how you’re not exercising, discover ways to move your body in your everyday routines. Maybe it’s running errands on foot or dancing around the house to your favorite tunes. Focus on moving your body in ways you love—you’ll be happier and healthier.

 Fun Goal: Learn to Meditate

Fun is anything you do for yourself to help yourself feel like things are going OK and you’re generally happy. It could be a one-off viral video that makes you all warm and fuzzy (cue cute panda in the snow video) or something new you try to enhance your life. The reason why I put fun on my clients’ wellness radar is because this is the most positive way we have to prevent being overwhelmed by stress.

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Find joy in the day to day.

Naturally, we have ways to cope with some amounts of daily stress without getting derailed. But then there are those days where life seems to blow up in our face and stress gets to the best of us. It interrupts our sleep, drains our physical and mental energy, making motivation to eat balanced and exercise even more challenging.

Having fun on a day-to-day basis is like practicing for the inevitable sh!8 storm. It strengthens our resilience so we can bounce back more easily, and hopefully control the emotional damages of the stress tornado.

There are a bagillion ways to have fun. For me, I want to experience meditation on a deeper level as a way to help keep my mind open and aware in the present moment. I tend to be one of those people who skips over appreciation and contentment in the day to day. I have to remember to enjoy the Play Doh mess everywhere because watching my daughter get creative is priceless. (Even dried up and smashed into the expensive area rug we swore we could keep clean before kids!)

If you’re interested in exploring meditation at all, I encourage you to try loving-kindness meditation (metta). It has been shown to enhance positivity and overall happiness. Or check out these free guided meditations on YouTube.

Taking some time to recharge and refresh will put you in a better frame of mind to tackle your day and enjoy yourself while you’re at it.

 Now, It’s Your Turn

I’d love to hear from you! What goals have you set to live a healthier and happier 2015? Feel free to share your comments below.


Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. I was compensated for my time to write this blog and share it on social media. My thoughts are my own.

#HappyHolidaysChallenge: Fitting in Fitness

Happy Holidays

Hello there! If you’re reading for the first time or just stopping by for the fun, I’m doing a “Happy Holidays” wellness challenge to help you cultivate more health and happiness the rest of 2014. Catch up on the details on how to join and win the prizes. Or if it already sounds like a good idea, sign up below.

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Deck…the… Halls with Planks and Burp-ees

Fa la-la-la-la

Is it too early for the seasonal music?

Like it or not, holiday season is approaching, and with all the cooking, shopping, cross-country road trips to visit the in-laws, and hosting the family celebrations, where exactly is exercise supposed to fit in?

Usually, it doesn’t. On average, Americans get 17 minutes of physical activity daily when we should be shooting for 30-60.

It All Counts

A common mistake we’ve all made, is to think that because we don’t have the time to put in our “usual hour” at the gym, anything less would be a waste of time. In reality, it’s the opposite. During the holidays when stress can be high, those 15 minutes of movement can make a big difference in maintaining physical and mental health.

One of the beautiful things about fitness, is that it’s flexible. Any time, any place, with just about any piece of equipment, you can find a way to fit in a workout.

Busy holiday schedules are the perfect time to test that flexibility. So how do you fit an effective workout into 30, 15, or even fewer minutes?

The moment you realize your plan to exercise has been derailed, revise that plan.

You Can Do It Challenge:  If you can’t do a full workout, use WHATEVER time you have, even if it’s 10 minutes. 

Constructing Your Workout is Easy

An easy way to maximize your workout time, is to use whatever you have available as your time limit. Just pick three (or however many you want) movements, decide on a set of reps, and try to complete as many rounds as you can in the time you have.

For example, you have 20 minutes to workout. Assuming you take 5 minutes to get in a few jumping jacks and stretching for a warm up, your workout will take 15 minutes.

Using burpees, squats, and mountain climbers, your reps are 6, 12, and 18 (keeping those sides even!), respectively. You have 15 minutes to cycle through the 6 burpees, 12 squats, and 18 mountain climbers as many times as you can. You can do this anywhere!

If you read “burpee” and thought “excuse me, did you just burp?” No, that’s a real exercise and it looks like this. It’s intense. You can modify it down by doing one leg at a time and don’t do the jump. Or ask a fit friend or trainer to show you!

And if that doesn’t float your boat, how about a walk? Why not? It’s movement and it counts. Bringing activity to your errands can be effective when the clock is not on your side.

Get My 5 Moves Full Body Workout

Want my complete anytime, anywhere workout? Join the Happy Holidays Challenge. If you’re already in, check your inbox! It was in this week’s email. Once you join the challenge, you can contact me directly from the welcome email and I’ll send you what you’ve missed.

Tools to Help You Out

If you’re looking for some variety, check out the 7 Minute Workout App and have a workout ready to go whenever and wherever you are. The app provides movement instructions, a timer, and announced and visual cues for easy use during workouts. After taking a look at this app, I’ll definitely be using it for those days I just can’t make it to the gym.

You can get even more out of these body weight movements using a tabata timer. Pick up any free tabata app like Tabata-Timer, and choose just one or two of the movements listed. You can get a workout in as little as 4 minutes, or do multiple tabatas for more volume. Never heard of tabata? It’s easy…a timed period of work followed by a period of rest, repeated as many times as you want. Set the timer and it will do the thinking for you!

Take care of YOU!

Remember, if you’re doing SOME kind of movement, you can’t get it wrong. Making the choice to find time for yourself in a seemingly impossibly busy schedule is an important self-care choice. Taking this time to recharge and refresh will put you in a better frame of mind to tackle your day, and make for an even more enjoyable holiday season.

Check In

How are you doing so far? Leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter, follow me and the #HappyHolidaysChallenge for even more motivation.

If you’re not “officially” in the challenge yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up below.

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Challenge Your Friends

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask your friends to join you by sharing on social media or just send them this e-mail with the link to subscribe to the challenge.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 60-day wellness challenge.  Get healthier and happier this holiday season. http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c #HappyHolidaysChallenge

Twitter: I’m taking the #HappyHolidaysChallenge with @ScritchfieldRD. Join us http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c