Unconventional Workouts: How to Exercise Around the House

September 30, 2021


For some of us, exercise might feel like a chore – like how vacuuming and dusting feel. While we know that exercise is essential for our mental health and wellbeing, many of us have lost motivation during lockdown. If you’re finding it challenging, there are many ways to exercise around the house to ensure you’re keeping your body moving.

Ever wanted to combine your household chores with exercise? Or maybe you don’t have access to any weights at home? We’ll walk you through both things and more ways you can exercise without stepping foot in a gym.

Exercising while doing chores

You might not realise but by doing household chores, you’re probably already moving your body and one step closer to a workout! If you’re looking to take your household chores to the next level and get a bit of a workout at the same time, pump up the music and read on for some things you can try:

Vacuuming and mopping – Did you know that thirty minutes of vigorous scrubbing, vacuuming and mopping can burn between 99 and 166 calories? That’s right, cleaning your floors can give you a decent cardio workout.

Vacuum briskly around the house, squatting down to move and tidy as you go instead of bending over will also help activate the muscles in your legs and glutes.

If you want to do a thorough vacuum, be sure to move some heavier items around the house, like couches and tables (always make sure you ask for help if it’s a two-person job).

Once you’ve completed the vacuuming, it’s time to move on to the next stage of floor cleaning – mopping. Be sure to brace your abs while you’re mopping to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. If you want an extra challenge, ditch the mop altogether and get down on your hands and knees to scrub the floors with some pure elbow grease! These tasks can be made more difficult by adding in lunges or squats as you move around the house.

Cleaning surfaces – Cleaning the windows, benchtops or other surfaces is a great arm burner! Make sure to brace your abs and do large circles of the surface you’re cleaning, swapping arms so you get the same workout on each side.

Washing the dishes – Don’t have a dishwasher or prefer to wash by hand? This is the perfect time for some calf raises! Standing at the sink with your legs hip-width apart, begin to rise up and down on your toes, holding at the top for up to 10 seconds before coming back down to a standing position. You’ll feel a nice burn up the back of your calves if you’re doing the exercise properly. Calf raises are also a great one to do if you have stairs. Each time you go up the stairs do 10 calf raises on each step.

Gardening – Gardening is another surprising household activity that provides a decent workout, burning around 289 calories per hour. From weeding to planting to raking, there are so many things you can do outdoors which engage different muscles in your body. Focus on bracing your abs when down on your hands and knees and twisting through your core when raking.

Exercising with household items

If you’re looking for a bit more of a workout at home but don’t have any gym equipment, there are a few things you can gather to use as a substitute. These can include:

  • Laundry detergent jugs, cans, water bottles or shampoo bottles can all double as weights for varying exercises. Smaller cans can be used for triceps exercises while bigger items like laundry detergent jugs can be used for bicep curls or shoulder presses – just make sure your cans are the same weight for an even workout.
  • A good, sturdy chair or coffee table is great to use for triceps dips as well as reverse lunges and step-ups. Add in your weights to make the lunges or step-ups that extra bit harder.
  • Pillows or cushions are perfect for improving your core strength. Place the pillow between your feet and lie with your arms and legs stretched out. Come up to a ‘V’ position, grab the pillow out from your feet and lie back down. Repeat but this time, put the pillow back between your legs.

Exercising around the house

Exercise doesn’t always have to get you covered in sweat crying for it to be over! There are so many things you can easily add to your daily routine to get a little more movement into your day. If full-blown workouts aren’t your thing, why not try some of the following?

  • Squats or calf raises while brushing your teeth.
  • Triceps dips while watching tv (during the commercials, of course!)
  • Holding a plank while waiting for the kettle to boil.
  • Doing 20 push-ups or squats every hour on the hour – especially when working from home can break up your day and get your body moving.
  • Binging Netflix? Why not sit in a squat, or a pike position on the floor at the same time?
  • If you receive a phone call from your mum, sister, boss (you get the hint!) take it outside and walk around to get your body moving. If the weather’s not great you can always walk around your own house, or up and down the stairs if you have any.
  • If you’ve got kids, this is the perfect excuse for moving your body! Simply running around after them is enough to get your heart rate up. They also double as good little weights if you want to try squatting with them on your back.

For some of us who may have lost our motivation to move during lockdown, there are so many ways to exercise around the house. Whether it’s turning your dedicated chores day into more of a workout, using everyday items as weights, or simply incorporating movement into everyday life, there’s something for everyone. To get the most out of your workout, find your closest Biz Collection Canada distributor for your new activewear.