From the Chatelaine Magazine; June,
Lose weight doing chores
Check out these three everyday household chores modified
into a killer workout
Summer is a good time to start losing weight; the sun is
out, the birds are chirping and you can't hide behind those
bulky layers anymore. Greg Harvey, personal trainer and
manager of Fit 'N' Well in Alberta says, "Not only do people
tend to be a little more active in the summer, but hot
weather and activity tends to encourage us to drink more
fluids. The more water we drink, the less hungry we are."
Chores around the garden or the house can be modified
into a calorie-burning workout with a few simple techniques.
To ensure your back is safe Harvey strongly recommends using
your abs to lift rather than your upper or lower back. "As
you lift, suck in your tummy as though you are putting on a
tight pair of jeans. Contract your stomach muscles and lift.
When you use these techniques, your transverse abdominus
(inner abdomen) activates, providing stability to your lower
back so more muscles are incorporated, thus lessening the
strain on the back."
Any landscaping projects are good exercise as you move
dirt and bricks, plant trees, mow the lawn, or rake etc.
Here are three modified indoor household chores so you get
the most from your time spent cleaning.
Fill your basket with laundry. Squat down, pick up your
basket and as you are standing up, raise the basket over
your head. Fully extend your arms until your elbows are
almost straight. Bring the basket down again until it almost
touches the floor and repeat 20 times. Keep your abdominals
tight throughout the exercise.
This exercise works your buttocks, front and back of
thighs, chest, triceps (the back of your arms), shoulders,
lower and upper back, and biceps. To make it harder, put
some magazines in the basket, or lift the basket a little
further out from your body. Ensure you keep your abdominals
tight throughout the movement, to protect your lower back.
Washing the floor exercise
Wet a rag in soapy water, kneel on a cushion of some sort
and slide your upper body away from your knees and back
again. This exercise works your abdominals, your lower back,
shoulders, chest and triceps. Listen to your body and be
sure not to extend your body too far out from your legs,
since the farther out you go, the harder it will be on your
lower back and arms. As you get stronger, extend further.
Stair climbing exercise
Going up and down stairs works your quads and calves. Take
two stairs at a time and now it works your quads, calves,
and the front and back of your thigh. Add a basket of
laundry and you just added resistance. Hold the laundry out
from your body a few inches and your abdominals and lower
back will work to stabilize you as you go up and down the
stairs. Holding the laundry basket away from your body
slightly will also work your chest, biceps, shoulders,
forearms and upper back.
The best thing you can do for your health is to listen to
your body. Harvey says aches and pains are normal when you
exercise, but not sharp lower-back or joint pain. So make
sure pay attention to how your body is responding to the
activity and you'll be a happier, healthier person for it.
Take advantage of the beautiful weather (white it lasts!)
and check out one of
Canada's top walking trails.