The Benefits Of Aerobic Exercise are well known to all of us. . .better circulation, more stamina, resistance to infection, more energy, better attitude, etc. But what if you're too busy with work and household duties to find the 2 hours per week? What if you can't afford the equipment or gym membership? This article is for you! We're going to take common household chores that you have to do, anyway, and transform them into an aerobic fitness exercise program. Ready. . . Set. . . Go!
Fitness Exercise Schedule: The key to an aerobics workout is to get your heart rate elevated at least 20 minutes, with warm-up and cool-down time of 5 minutes on either side of the workout. In order for the household activities to have aerobic value, then, they must keep your body in constant motion for 30 minutes. This requires some planning but there really are enough household duties to get the job done. In fact, if you develop the habit of doing these things aerobically you may actually gain extra time because of the much faster pace. Plan your aerobic exercises (chores) so you're doing them for 30 minutes, 3-4 days per week. To make it more fun and easier to keep active you can play some upbeat music while you're doing you're housework aerobics.
Indoor Aerobics: It's probably harder to get good aerobic exercise on foul weather days, so these exercises can help you even if you have time for the regular jog.
1. Jog Away is putting things away at a fast pace, but it requires a certain amount of messiness to get full aerobic value. If you have kids, this won't be a problem.
2. Vacuum-er-cise requires all furniture be moved and a plan of action (where plugs are) before you start because you're going to vacuum all the floors in 30 minutes, using long, strenuous movements.
3. Dust-er-cise requires all surfaces be ready for dusting before you start or things could get broken.
4. Tub aerobics can take 30 minutes if you include shower walls and faucets and dry all surfaces with a towel afterward. If it doesn't take long enough, add in the sink and toilet. . . it couldn't hurt.
5. Hard Floor Fever is a great workout. Move all furniture, place broom, mop water, mop and drying towel within easy reach before starting. Then, sweep, mop and dry floor without stopping. The hand drying is great exercise and removes any residual dirt.
6. Window Workout requires that you adjust all blinds/curtains, move articles out of the way and strategically place drying towels before beginning. If you've got as many windows as we do, this could be more than one workout.
Outdoor Aerobics: Just like indoor aerobics, only the weather is nice. As an added benefit, once you get conditioned for this, you'll save lots of money on car washes, mowers, trimmers and leaf blowers.
1. Window Workout: Same as indoor, except please only do this with windows you can reach while standing on the ground. Ladder aerobics produces too many personal injury claims. Also. . . don't use the hose or a squeegee. . . this is supposed to be exercise.
2. Sweep-er-cise is good for at least a couple workouts by the time you count porch, deck, driveway, garage and sidewalks. Just make sure to do it quickly enough to keep your heart rate up. You can pick up the debris after the workout.
3. Whack aerobics is done on all the weeds you used to use that string trimmer for. You'll have to buy a new gardening tool called an idiot stick. Basically, you swing it one-handed at the weeds until they're at the desired level.
4. Car Wash Workout requires the hose, bucket, towels, wax and buffer all be ready before you start. Make sure and jog in place while you're rinsing. . . otherwise your heart rate will drop.
5. Mowin’ Madness is usually good for a few workouts. Do not use a power mower for aerobics. . . I can't afford the legal fees. Use a push mower!
6. Rake-a-robics is usually possible a few months a year.
7. Shovel-cise can be done occasionally if you have a yard, more often if you live in the snow belt.
Personal Workout: I know the language I used made these activities seem silly but the concept of using chores as a fitness workout seriously works. Five years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes. Most of my life, I avoided physical labor by using power tools, like everyone else. When we bought our 20 acres for our home, I planned on getting bigger power tools. Fortunately, we couldn't afford to do that. I even had to do all the clearing and a lot of the construction to save money. After the heavy labor required for the tree and shrub clearing, hand digging and landscaping and building 700 square feet of decking, I had the best blood tests since diabetes began. Since then, I could have paid to have the 2 acres around my house fire-cleared, but I'm doing it myself. It's wonderful exercise. Yes, I use a leaf blower and a chain saw, but I move all the wood by hand. . . several tons of it. Not bad for a reformed city-boy. My point is this. . . you can save money and get a great workout around the house if you just change the way you approach housework.
Glen Williams is Webmaster for http://www.e-health-fitness.com , founder and CEO of EHF, Inc. He has done extensive research on personal and family health and fitness issues and has been helping and advising people on health since 1987. You can comment on his articles at Health And Fitness Forums .