FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Spring is the perfect time of year to get outside, get some fresh air, and maybe do a little cleaning around the house. It's also a great time to spring-clean your diet and rid your kitchen of junk food, replacing it with healthy alternatives.
WINK News Fitness Expert Mike Drumm is here today with his tips to help you clean up your diet.
The job of cleaning house is never-ending, so why not make the most of it and turn cleaning into a workout! Like any physical activity, housework can burn calories and tone muscles if you do it correctly. Now, don’t expect to look like a supermodel or an all-star athlete when you take off your apron and dishwashing gloves, but 30 minutes a day of moderate activity can bring some legitimate health and fitness benefits.
Cleaning around the House Adds Up!
The first thing to remember is that if you are going to count this as exercise you have to do more than just stroll around and flip the feather duster a little here and a little there. Make a conscious effort to pick up the pace and move continuously. For the greatest fitness benefit, try to accumulate more steps and movement by leaving all the cleaning supplies in the cabinet and making extra trips up and down the stairs, for example. If you have to make an extra trip to the other room to get the dustpan for the broom, that’s what adds up. Slash calories, and your spring-cleaning checklist, with these slimming household activities that if you do on a weekly basis, you will banish both extra clutter and inches.
Working out in the Yard
Clear out dead leaves and palm fronds and make way for spring greenery by rooting out weeds and trimming trees. While you’re killing calories, add some new life by planting flowers, herbs, fruit, or vegetables. Between pulling weeds, mowing, edging, and planting, you can expect to burn 400-500 calories!
Clean the Garage (and your Car)
Increase your heart rate and your garage’s functionality by sweeping the floor, organizing tools and storage, washing the car, and de-gunking the gutters. Chores like sweeping out the garage, washing the car, and cleaning out the gutters will add up to another 500 calories burned! The number of calories you’ll burn bringing your garage up to speed beats the 544 you’d burn cycling at 13 mph for an hour.
Restore the Floor
Show your floors and your body some love by cleaning carpets and getting grime off hard flooring. The number of calories burned during Vacuuming, Scrubbing, and Mopping trumps what you’d get rid of by running for 30 minutes at a 10-minute-mile pace.
Counters, tables, shelves, mirrors, and windows are magnets for dust, handprints, and mystery sticky spots. Get these surfaces gleaming and you’ll shave off a few calories. You’d have to walk for more than two hours at a casual pace to match the number of calories burned while dusting, wiping down the counters, and washing the mirrors and windows.
The Finishing Touches
Freshen up the fabrics in your house and get rid of extra calories. Don’t forget the drapes and tablecloth. Doing the laundry, cleaning the sheets, making the bed, and ironing will burn a couple hundred more calories, about what you would burn in a hatha Yoga class.
Spring-Clean Your Diet
Things to Trash:
- High-calorie dips, spreads, and condiments
Bye-bye, nacho cheese sauce, French onion chip dip, blue cheese dressing, and mayo. In their place, swap a couple of varieties of salsa, vinaigrette dressings, and mustards.
- Extra Beer
Sure, you need one, maybe two some nights. But unless you're having a party, only chill a few at a time. If it isn't there, available and cold, you'll be less likely to overdo it.
Things to Stock up On:
- Lean Proteins and Lots of Produce
Strive to eat things with one ingredient, the food itself. Chicken, Turkey Breast, Fish, Broccoli. Spinach. Apples. But only buy what you can eat one week at a time. Otherwise, the excess is bound to go to waste.
- A giant water pitcher
Get yourself a good water filter and keep it topped off at all times to prevent you from using those wasteful plastic bottles..
- Lunge. When you vacuum, perform some lunges. Remember to keep your knees directly above your ankles, your back straight and your abs engaged.
- Go big. Instead of making small circles when scrubbing the shower or cleaning windows, make long, sweeping movements.
- Clean to the beat!Turn on the radio or your iPod while you clean. Feel the beat and dance around a bit. Use some fast music so you'll pick up your speed and break a sweat.
- Take the stairs. Instead of making one trip up and down, make multiple trips with the clean or dirty clothes. Remember, the goal here to make more work for yourself, not less.
Not everyone is convinced that housework will do much to help you shape up; however, approaching cleaning and chores this way will certainly burn more calories and help improve mobility. The American Heart Association does count housework as moderate exercise. Again, it isn’t going to get you prepared for a marathon, or climbing Mt. Everest, but every bit adds up!