With most of us spending the majority of time at home at the moment, we thought we’d put together our tips for staying fit without leaving your own property. Staying physically active helps support a more positive frame of mind, and keeping your home environment looking tidy is a mood booster too.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, then this is our current number one favourite pastime. It’s outside in the fresh air and is immensely satisfying, so this is the place to start. Everything in the garden is just starting to sprout, so it’s an ideal time to get stuck in after the winter and do some tidying up.
Weeding: pulling weeds can burn from 200 to 400 calories an hour. It helps tone legs and arms and means lots of bending and straightening – just remember to always bend your knees rather than your back to avoid strain.
Heavy gardening such as shovelling earth or moving rocks to make a rockery can burn around 400 to 600 calories an hour, while just mowing the grass burns 250 to 350 calories an hour.
Jobs to do at this time of year include edging lawns, preparing beds for new seeds, sowing seeds and cleaning greenhouses and garden furniture.
If you don’t have a garden or the weather’s not being kind, then there’s plenty to do indoors as well.
Tidying kitchen cupboards
This is a brilliant job to do at the moment, as it needs a bit of time. Take everything out of the cupboard and throw away anything that’s really out of date – it’s always a slightly embarrassing moment when you come across that packet of dried fruit dated ‘best before 1998’!
Organise what’s left into sections, such as tinned, dried goods, stocks and sauces or sweet foods. This is also a good chance to remind yourself what you have! Clean the cupboard out thoroughly with warm water and a bit of detergent, and leave it to dry thoroughly. Remove any stubborn stains (five-year-old golden syrup dries like concrete!) with some warm water and Cif, or a scouring pad.
When the cupboard is dry, you might like to line it with paper (wrapping paper or spare wallpaper works well) – it looks nice, and makes the cupboard easier to clean next time as you can just throw the paper away when it gets dirty. Depending on how high up your cupboard is, this activity means lots of gentle stretching and can burn up to 200 calories an hour.
Some people love ironing, others hate it (not telling you where we stand on this!), but if you’ve got a couple of hours on your hands it’s the ideal time to get on top of it. Sort through your wardrobe and wash everything that’s looking a bit stale or creased, then line up a good film on TV and get stuck in. Standing at an ironing board tones your legs and can burn up to 130 calories an hour. If you fancy an extra challenge, invest in a balance cushion. This helps improve your core strength and balance, and can make standing at an ironing board a bit more interesting!
This is another brilliant exercise for gentle stretching, and depending on how tall your windows are can really give you a workout. You can burn up to 300 calories an hour.
Scrubbing the floor
This might sound a bit ‘1950s housewife’, but nothing gets a tiled or hard floor clean like it! Clean the angles of the wall and floor with a dustpan and brush or the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner, then find something to kneel on and scrub the edges of the floor with warm water and a scrubbing brush. (You don’t need to do the whole floor like this, just the areas that normally get missed with the mop.) This exercise works your back, arms and shoulders and can burn up to 300 calories an hour.
Unlike going to the gym, our ‘workout’ means double results – you’ll also end up with a cleaner house and tidier garden!
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