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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Spring Cleaning Your Workout

by Lori Heck, NASM-CPT & Owner ASPIRE Personal Training

It’s finally here, spring has arrived. Sun soaked days, grills blazing, cold drinks served, picnics enjoyed; the good life has returned.

The early summer months have us all booked with additional activities (parties, end of school events, get-a-ways), and all those plans come with food. It also leads to changes in schedules, routines are upset, and you inevitably have less time for a workout. Don’t let that be the case for you this 2011 swimsuit season! In fact, exercise and proper nutrition will give you the energy you need to get through all your activities, keep stress at bay, and keep you healthy so you can enjoy the fun in the sun!

Assign an exercise to do in at least 4-5 rooms of the house every time you enter that room and do 15-20 reps before moving on to the next room. You can do this for one hour and you’ll burn more calories than you would just cleaning as usual, and it may make the cleaning part more fun.

Cleaning out the fridge or cupboards. While on your hand and knees cleaning, stop to do leg lifts or kick backs. For leg lift, while your knee is at a 90º angle on the ground, raise it up parallel to the floor. Do 12 raises on each side.

Have a staircase? Run it! This is a simple way to get in cardio while you are cleaning. Repeat after each room for more calories burned.

Picking up. While you are fluffing and organizing, stop and do 3 sets of PUSH-UPS. Do as many as you can, but shoot for 10-12 each time. On your toes for advanced exercisers; on your knees for beginners.

Stairs again – run them!

Floors. While sweeping, mopping, or steaming the floors, incorporate SQUATS into the movements or between actions. Sweep, squats; mop, squats. Making sure your knees are over your toes, sit back like there is a chair behind you. Do 15-20 reps, three times.

Stairs again – run them!

Laundry. While you are doing the laundry after you fill the washer, do SHOULDER PRESSES, TORSO TWISTS, and BICEPT CURLS with the bottle of laundry soap. Beginners, start with lighter bottle; advanced exercisers can lift heavier bottles. Take soap, hold in both hands and press overhead. Do 12-15 reps. Take soap, hold at stomach level and twist side to side, keeping your legs stationary. Do 40 reps. Finally, take bottle in one hand, elbow bend at right angle, slowly lower down, raise back up to right angle. Do 12-15 reps; switch arms. Do this sequence three times.

Stairs again – run them!

Vacuuming. While vacuuming the house, do LUNGES. Lunge forward while you push the vacuum, bring it back. Make sure your form is correct; knee over front toe, back leg dropping straight down.

Stairs again – run them!

Windows. Put a balance challenge to your window washing and do it on one foot. Switch rooms and switch feet.

Stairs again – run them!

There, you’re done. The house is cleaner, you are healthier. Nothing to it!

More … • Make your workout and good nutrition a top priority! Pen it into your planner, calendar, or to do list. If it means getting up a little earlier, using your lunch break, or going to the gym directly after work before going home – do it! It doesn’t have to take hours either. A good 30-45 minute session of cardio mixed in with some weight training is great! • If you know you have to attend a social event, be sure not to skip meals, but skimp on several of them. What I mean is, be sure to eat breakfast and eat smaller meals throughout the day. For example, if you know you’re going to be attending a social event, stick to meal times as usual (eating every 2.5-3 hours). Make sure you balance each meal with a protein, carb, and fat source. To allow for a glass of wine that night, which is typically 120 calories for 4-5oz, cut back on 120 calories earlier in the day. Just eat a little bit smaller – hence the “skimp” – of a small meal. • Find ways to move more! Park farther away from the entrance and walk at a faster pace than normal; see how fast you can get in and out of the grocery store; do some arm curls or walk around when you are on the phone with someone, or clean your house with vigour!
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