It’s that time of year; the sun is coming out, flowers are blooming, and you feel the urge to clean up. Spring cleaning seems like just another task to add to your to-do list, just like working out or drinking enough water. But what if there is a way to do all these tasks at once?
In the fitness world, cleaning is categorized as NEAT: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This means that although the purpose of cleaning is not to burn calories, our bodies end up expending energy during these activities. NEAT contributes to the amount of energy we use per day, meaning it’s an important and often overlooked component of health and weight-loss. Try these tips to get the most out of your spring cleaning day.
1. Take water breaks
Cleaning up is a great opportunity to increase your water intake. Grab a water bottle, fill it up, and bring it with you to wherever you’re cleaning so you have quick-access to hydration. Take a sip between each task, or before you move to the next room.
2. Choose vigorous activities
Vacuuming is basically a workout in and of itself, so prioritize tasks like this to elevate your heart rate. Vacuuming, scrubbing, and moving furniture are all high-energy tasks that will keep your heart rate elevated.
3. Add in some exercises
If you really want to up the intensity, try adding in some bodyweight exercises to your cleaning tasks; lunges while you vacuum, squats while you wipe windows, or even elevated push-ups while you wipe off counters.
4. Use the stairs
To keep your heart rate up, try swapping between tasks that are upstairs and downstairs. Doing so will keep you from getting bogged down in one area and keep you moving. If you don’t have stairs in your home, try swapping between tasks that are on one side of your home versus the other.
5. Take a healthy lunch break
Chances are, all of this cleaning will leave you feeling pretty hungry. Take this opportunity to make a healthy lunch to fuel the rest of your day; a balanced meal with protein, fats, and carbs.
6. Clean out the fridge and pantry
While you’re making yourself lunch, you might notice that your fridge or pantry need to be cleaned as well. Take this chance to throw out old food or donate packaged foods that you won’t be eating anymore. This makes space for you to re-imagine your food storage and fill those areas up with healthier choices!
Spring marks new beginnings. We’re a quarter of the way through the new year and, just like your cleaning habits, your healthy habits may have fallen off. Let your spring cleaning inspire you to get back into the swing of things and accomplish your goals. You’ve got this!
Shannon McGoey, CPT is a personal trainer at Merritt Clubs Eldersburg.