Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Spring Cleaning Workout

Spring is only two days away! 

Because many parents will be celebrating the vernal equinox by spring cleaning this weekend, I wanted to bring back one of my favorite blogs. The original was blog was posted on October 10, 2013, but I think now is a great time to incorporate fitness into your daily cleaning routine!

What does a broom handle, your infant and bottles of cleaning supplies all have in common?  They can all be used to create out-of-the-box fitness routines!

There is no excuse for not making time for exercise in your daily schedule.  With a little creativity, any household item can be used as a weight, equipment in your cardio program or as a resistance band.  The key is to think like a kid again!
Remember when you were a child and you could reenact a medieval war using a few sticks from the backyard as swords, a scooter as your trusty stead, and a sheet and a lawn chair for your castle?  All it took was a little imagination to get a great workout and have a lot of fun.

Look around your home.  There are plenty of items that you can use to create a challenging fitness routine at home.  Here are a few ideas:
 -Doing laundry? Take the tie from your robe and use it as a resistance band.  This is great for stretching your legs. Use it while lying on your back to stretch your hamstrings, IT band, or calves by simply extending one leg into the air and hooking the strap around the sole of your foot. This is also a unique weapon for ab work. Try stomach exercises where your legs are suspended out in front of you and your back is off the ground. You can loop the belt around one or both of your legs for more support and to take the strain out of your neck.

-Do you have an infant or small child living in your house?  Does he/she feel left out as you are tidying up for spring?  Incorporate him/her as a weight!  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the child with your arms extended in front of you.  Now, squat.  Or, if your child is older and heavier, slightly bend your knees and just pick him/her up in the air a few times.  The weight of your child can help tone your arms, abs, butt and thighs.  If you are looking for a real challenge, he/she can even add intensity when doing lunges.

By incorporating your child in your daily exercise, it teaches him/her the importance of fitness while giving you an opportunity to play – and bond – together.
-If you don’t have a small child, bottles of laundry detergent make great weights too!

-Your broom or mop can also be used in your cardio workout.  Place the handle on the floor so it is in front of you longways and jump over it from side to side. Practice jumping over it as fast as you can for as many times as you can.

-Do you have wood or tiled floors?  Grabs two paper plates or hand towels and place them under your feet while you are in a push-up or downward dog position.  Then, alternate sliding your feet up to your hands while remaining in your inverted position.  This is great for core, hamstrings and butt toning and sculpting - and you'll clean your floors!

So, look around your house and use your imagination to create a great, intensive workout that will be fun!
To learn how Fitness for Health can help you create an unique fitness experience in time for Spring Break vacation, call 301-231-7138 or visit www.FitnessForHealth.org.

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