Are you looking to make 2017 a healthier year for you? For your family? Here are 6 ways to make those changes:
- Make healthy food choices. Grab a health snack on the go. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Be active. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away and walk.
- Protect yourself. Put a helmet, sunscreen or bug spray. And make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Manage stress. Don’t overschedule or overcommit. Take short breaks throughout the day.
- Make an appointment for a check-up, vaccination, or screening.
- Quit smoking.
Spring is knocking on our door here in Upstate NY. That means doing some spring cleaning inside & outside of our houses. But this equates to calories burned! Here are some other tips for making housework a workout:
- Put on some fast music — rock and roll, salsa, whatever you like. This helps you pick up speed
- Whenever you’re doing chores, tighten your abs. This prevents you from slouching.
- Stretch extra-high to knock down those cobwebs or prune that limb. You should feel it along your side (obliques).
- Strive for large up-and-down movements. When cleaning a shower door, for example, make big circles.
- Carry heavy baskets of laundry or supplies up from the basement.
- Scrub floors on your hands and knees. And get on your hands and knees to pull out all that dust and clutter hiding under the bed.
- Do lunges while vacuuming. You’ll feel it in your thighs.
- In the garden, lunge toward weeds.
- Pruning requires forearm strength (and helps develop it). It also requires reaching on your.
- Pouring mulch or fertilizer from a heavy bag requires a squat. Remember to use your legs, not your back.
- Wielding a weed-eater is like fencing, almost. Pull in those abs and pay attention to your form.
- If you have area rugs, beat them using a clean broom rather than vacuuming. This means more steps to get outside and more exercise for your arm muscles.
What You Will Burn
The American Heart Association counts housework as moderate exercise. No one disputes that doing chores can burn calories. How many you burn will depend on your fitness level, your weight, and the time you spend cleaning or gardening. But here are some estimates, based on a person weighing 150 pounds doing 30 minutes of chores:
- General cleaning: 127 calories
- Cooking: 92 calories
- Trimming shrubs: 157 calories
- Laundry: 133 calories
- Vacuuming: 123 calories
While even the most intensely calorie-burning chores can’t replace structured exercise completely, every little bit of activity helps.And along with the fitness benefits come added dividends: A cleaner house, a beautiful yard, and a sense of satisfaction.