The No-Gym, No-Shame Workout

Snow–a love hate relationship

As I sit here with a cup of tea, my heating pad and a bottle of Aleve, I suddenly feel less guilty about not making it to the gym on Friday.  Shoveling the latest gift from Mother Nature for the last hour and a half has not only produced some undesired side effects (aching back, wind-whipped cheeks), but some welcome byproducts, primarily a sizable dent in my daily caloric burn goal.

Not everyone has time or money to go to the gym and perhaps even the thought of fitness videos via your cable’s on-demand program or even DVDs still doesn’t motivate some to workout.  Have no fear–what you’ll find is that there are all sorts of ways to multitask, combining your routine workout with your dreaded household chores.  After reviewing more than 2 dozen websites on the caloric benefits of housework, I finally collapsed the lengthy data into a small table–mostly relevant to my own checklist of weekly household chores

calorie table

So this morning’s back-breaking shovel expedition potentially netted a 400-600 calorie benefit, while also providing a needed escape from being trapped indoors throughout the duration of yesterday’s storm.  As a Maine-native, I have never shied away from snow or hard work, so the 8 inches of heavy-wet snow blanketing our vehicles, driveway and walkways was a challenge physically but also a way to sneak in some additional activity.  While I often dread the foretasted storm, the day after, generally sunny and breezy, always rekindles that school-girl snow day feeling–there is something about the crispness to the air and the beautiful glass-like look of the snow in the sunshine–and of course burning 400-600 calories sure isn’t bad either.

With reward always comes a word of caution…When flexing those muscle at home, doing anything from housework to yard work, keep in mind some helpful tips:

1. Right Tools– having tools that provide certain ergonomic features can go a long way towards preventing injury (i.e. bent shovels, knee guards when you’re scrubbing on the floors, etc.)

2. Proper Form –sounds silly right? but there are proper techniques to cleaning in order to maximize quality and minimize the likelihood of injury.  Still not a believer?  Take a quick read through this link for the real reason to change your form: Work Safe Cheat Sheet

3. Have Fun–jamming out to a few of your favorite workout tunes can make the time pass quickly–some of my greatest non-conventional workouts have been successful thanks to the likes of Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, and even Tom Petty.

In a world moving 80 mph, it is not always an option to head to a gym, yoga studio or spin class–but rolling up your sleeves to tackle household chores can help dispel those guilty thoughts and result in a great mind-clearing sweat and a tidy abode.

Getting in shape can take on all different shapes and sizes–so embrace the different ways you can schedule a good sweat and do not get hung up on the conventional routines!

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