For stay at home moms, those snowed in (’tis the season!) or those who work from home, leaving the house to exercise or spending thousands on exercise equipment isn’t feasible. Here’s how to get a good workout in using household objects.
Forget even using equipment, body-weight exercises are something accessible– after all, all you need is an empty room. Some of your (least) favorite classics from gym class make a return– push-ups, crunches, sit-ups, and jumping jacks are all good exercises to start getting fit. You can even modify these activities to fit your fitness level! Take push-ups, for example– you can do them with your knees bent, while on your toes, or while raising one leg in the air, depending on what is easy for you. If you can’t put the jump in jumping jacks for health reasons, just step out and in, alternating your legs. If you need assistance with crunches, try resting your knees flat on the seat of a chair while lying flat on the ground.
You can even watch TV and do these body-weight exercises during the commercial breaks, depending on what kind of commercial is on. This exercise routine makes the activities seem like more of a game while helping to keep you moving!
This type of exercise is perfect for those who need to burn calories but are busy. Try housework activities like washing your car, sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping for a whole ten minutes without stopping. You could push for twenty or thirty minutes, even, as long as you stay moving! Being at the sink to brush your teeth or do dishes, while in front of the laundry machine, or while talking on the phone all are optimal times to perform calf raises. Vacuuming burns 119 calories in a scant 30 minutes, making this a way to get a workout, two-birds one stone style!
Exercising with Household Objects
If you’ve progressed beyond exercises that you complete with just your body-weight, then using household objects to get fit is the logical next step. If you have stairs in your house, walking up and down them, or even doing step aerobics on the lowest rung are all great ways to get some aerobic exercise. If you don’t have stairs in your house, you can duct tape an old phone book or other bulky, paperback book to make a small nonstick step for step aerobics. Cans of food make inexpensive hand weights for shoulder raises, bicep curls, and other weight exercises. Towels are also something useful. Looking to do squats? Hold one end of a towel in each hand, keeping it pulled tight. Swing your arms overhead, and keep the cloth tightly pulled when you perform squats. This form helps keep you in the optimal position for squats. You can also fold a towel into a long pad to help with the stress on your hand when you do push-ups.