If traditional exercise routines filled with push-ups, lunges and squats are not your thing, then this is for you.
There are plenty of activities people do without realising that they are also considered a form of exercise. They fall under the bracket of unconventional exercise but do work, even if they are not standard exercise routines.
The lockdown regulations have changed and people are allowed to walk, run and cycle outdoors. But it will soon get too cold to head out the gate.
Here are five unconventional ways to keep active in your home.
I washed my car a few days back and turned it into a workout. I did lunges and squats around the car while I sprayed the water.
I did the same while I lathered it with soap, intentionally stopping in one place to do stationary squats. You can turn this into a squatting and lunging game with the kids.
Gardening is an actual workout if done correctly. The repetitive bending to plant seeds or pull out weeds can be an intense squatting session for your thighs.
Of course, if you do this kneeling, you aren’t reaping the benefits, but if you squat throughout your gardening session, your quads and glutes will thank you later. As you move around the garden, lunge from one spot to the next to make it more fun and tone your thighs even further.
There are clever ways to get a workout from cleaning the house. You can sweep or vacuum in a squat position and do lunges from one room to the next.
You can start by standing upright and proceed to do lateral lunges by vacuuming side to side. Lunges can be done while walking from corner to corner.
Stationary squats can be done when you concentrate on cleaning one spot repetitively.
If you mop the floors the traditional way (on your knees), place a towel or cloth under your knees and glide your hands forwards and backwards. This will be a great exercise for your abs.
Kids have plenty of energy and although we can now burn it with a run or walk between 6am and 9am, it may become too cold for them at that time. Activities with them would need to be later in the day, with the sun out.
Activities can include kicking or throwing a ball around the garden as though playing soccer or rugby. Hopscotch, jump rope and tag are fun games that toddlers and preteens enjoy.
Parents with babies in prams can do pram exercises, such as squats, lunges and bunny hops. Google pram exercises and there should be plenty available.
An alternative for babies that aren’t walking yet is exercises where you use them as weights. Some call them mom and baby exercises, or dad and baby exercises. Use the baby (safely) to do exercises such as sit-ups, squats and lunges. I used to do these when my daughter was a baby and she used to think it was a game.
There is also a variety of beginner ballet and yoga classes on YouTube as a great alternative.
Whatever activity you choose, the kids will appreciate you joining in and it will be a great bonding session for you and them.
Plenty of exercises can be done in the house, even while performing other household tasks.
While you brush your teeth, instead of standing still, brush and squat. The same can be said about showering. If the shower floor is not too soapy, squat in place while you shower.
If your house has stairs, try jump squatting up the stairs, running up, or simply walking up the stairs by marching and swinging your arms vigorously. You can also do squats and lunges while you wash the dishes.
Lastly, if you watch TV shows with ad breaks, squat throughout the ad breaks and sit down when the show returns.
Try these unconventional activities with your partner and kids and have fun working out.
Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and co-founder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu
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