Mom fitness tips: Cleaning is a workout

Motherhood is hard work. A woman needs to take care of everything in the household such as going to work, do the cleaning and cooking, and raising the children. A mother barely has time for herself. Most women want to stay fit, but with a busy schedule, they simply have no time to go to the gym. But, you can turn your fitness level around if you think creatively. The average woman cleans for more than 16 hours per week. This means that every day a woman spends 2 and 23 minutes cleaning. How about turning your housework into exercise? There is plenty of opportunity to get a good workout without leaving your home, and still do all the housework.

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The vacuum cleaner is a great workout for the abdominal muscles. The forward and backward motion can really work your abs. Just flex your muscles, begin with the pelvis after that your upper abs. Keep them flexing during your entire time vacuuming. Per one hour you can burn 190 calories. If you want to increase the burn you can do single leg lunges every 2 to 3 minutes. Take a large step forward with one leg and lunge until your knee is at around 90 degrees. Hold it for 5-6 seconds and step back. Then do it with the other leg.

When you mop the floors you can burn 195 calories per hour. Flex your abs and squat instead of bending when there is a hard space to reach. Switch arms as you mop. This cleaning exercises your shoulders and upper arm.  With squatting you can add a workout for your butt and thighs.

When you tidy different rooms, instead of walking you can run up and down while bringing objects from one room to another. This burns 500 calories per hour. If you want to increase the burn, you can squat when you get the toys your kids have left lying around, laundry baskets, or other objects with closed arms from the floor. When you bend it causes intense strain on your back, but when you squat you build abs, quadriceps and hamstring. It even helps your back.

Doing the dishes can be beneficial for your cleaning workout, too. When you are doing the dishes, you can start standing on your toes.  Hold it for a couple of seconds and then slowly come down. Repeat it for like 10 minutes and rest between the sets for a minute. This exercise raises your calf muscles.

When you clean the windows, use both your hands equally and wipe in a circular motion. It burns about 180 calories per hour. You burn the same calories dusting the house. This motions work your abs, glutes and lower and back arm muscles.

When you iron clothes you burn 113 calories per hour.  If you are changing wallpapers, for an hour you will say goodbye to 133 calories. Taking care of your garden will burn out 289 calories for an hour. If you want to experiment, you can even chop wood; this will burn 415 calories for a 60-minute work. Everything you do in the house, burns calories. But don't forget to stretch from time to time to avoid pain.

Household work is a great way to keep your body fit if you don't have time to go to the gym. Busy moms, now you can benefit from cleaning in a way that you love. Don't worry about the gym, you have it right here, at home!

This article was kindly contributed by Patricia Cornwell. She runs a small company called CityClean Hampstead.