VIDEO: Household Chores Turned Into Exercises

Clinical Expertise

Jun 17, 2021

Medical Reviewer: David Salinas, DPT, AIB-VR
Last Updated: January 13, 2023

Video Transcript

Hello, my name is David Salinas, and I’m a physical therapist here with Brooks rehabilitation.

Today, I’m just going to be going over some ways that you can turn those daily household chores into exercises.

So to start off, we’re going to be talking about laundry. So a lot of us use these laundry baskets. When they get filled up with clothes, they can be pretty heavy. What you can do is rather than bending forward to pick up the basket, squat down to the ground, pick it up. If you want to work out the shoulders at the same time, you can bring your arms straight out in front holding the basket at 90 degree angle, and walk towards your destination. To make this even more challenging, hold that basket out and (indistinct) all the way to your destination.

Another activity around the house that’s already so much strenuous is vacuuming. So while you’re going through, don’t forget to switch arms every now and then. Make sure both sides get to workout. If you want to add a cardio component to this, you can pick up to speed the vacuum a little bit faster, and try to vacuum for 20, 25 minutes straight. To make that even more challenging, just like with the last activity, you can add a lunge in while you’re bringing the vacuum forward.

A lot of times, washing the dishes can get pretty tedious. You’ll be standing there for a long period of time, washing dish after dish. Try adding in some heel raises. So just raising those heels, controlling it back down while you wash the dishes. To load the dishwasher or unload the dishwasher, you can even add in a component of a squat, coming down, placing the object, and then coming back up.

If you find yourself having to wipe some windows, wipes some countertops, try using big motions with your arms and just keep on moving until the shoulders start to get fatigued, working that muscle out while you’re washing the windows.

In another activity, we find ourselves standing for a long time is while we’re cooking. A lot of times we have to wait for the water to boil. We have to wait for the oil to heat up. So try just finding a countertop and doing some activities there. The one I like to do is kicking the leg out in three different directions, board, out to the side, and straight back. You can do multiple reps of these kicks until the muscles start to get tired, but you’re warming those hip muscles out while you’re waiting for everything to heat up.

So that’s just a couple ideas, but there are so many more you can find if you just really work on trying to incorporate exercises into your daily household chores.

For more healthy living tips, visit our YouTube Playlist.

Medical Reviewer

David Salinas, DPT, AIB-VR

Physical Therapist
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