Shape up while you clean up on a fitness plan with added sparkle.
Trainer Julia Buckley says getting stuck into boring chores is a win-win, giving you a free total body workout, mood boost and clean home.
Julia, 42, author of The Fat Burn Revolution, said: “At this time of year people are starting to think about summer and summer body workouts.
“At the same time we like to freshen up our homes. So it’s a good combination.
“Walking carrying heavy bags, reaching up to clean a window, getting down to clean the bath, They all incorporate full body movements that engage muscles across the whole body.”
Julia says cleaning also boosts your mood, builds muscle, strengthens posture and keep us supple into old age.
She said: “Cleaning is great for the body and the mind. If your house is clean and you feel everything is in order you’ll be more motivated to exercise.”
She told us: “One top tip when cleaning is to use your weaker hand. If you’re always using your dominant hand this can lead to imbalances. So I try to switch hands and do equal exercise.
“Posture is important too. Keep your back straight, try not to round the spine when you’re cleaning the bath.
“Try not to slouch when you’re carrying shopping bags. You will burn more calories that way and it will improve your posture.
“If you have ankle weights or wrist weights, pop them on and it will add strength building.
It makes your heart work harder and you end up burning more calories.
So swap the Lycra for the marigolds with these exercises.
This is what Julia says of each one when done for 30 minutes.
If you spend less time on them, reduce the calories figure.
Scrubbing the bath: 200 calories
This mainly works the arms and shoulders. You also use the legs to crouch down and get back up again. It also works the core and help with flexibility.
Carrying shopping bags home: 190 calories
This is a great lower body workout for your calves, thighs and bum.
It will also work your arms, shoulders and core.
Painting and decorating your home: 160 calories
This includes lots of reaching so is a great arm workout. If you are using a step ladder, it works the legs well.
Washing the car: 140 calories
This is great for your whole body – plenty of stretching, bending and natural lunges.
Making beds: 130 calories
This will involve squatting, so boosts legs. Make sure you squat, rather than bending from the back.
Cleaning windows: 125 calories
Again, ideal for the arms, the core and the legs if using a ladder.
Weeding: 115 calories
Good for the lower body, as well as the arms and hips.
Putting the weekly shop away: 110 calories
Lifting heavy tins and moving around is actually great cardio.
Vacuuming: 90 calories
The heavier the vacuum, the better. You are turning from the waist quite a bit – great for the core. The push-pull movement will work your arms.
Ironing: 70 calories
Again, great for the arms – throw in some squats between each item to work the lower body.
Dusting: 50 calories
This is fabulous for stretching all your body and working the arms as you dust and the legs as you bend up and down to reach the crevices.
Digging in the garden: 315 calories
This is an excellent strengthening exercise for the arms. Plus you are out in the fresh air. Make sure you switch hands and change the way you grip the spade.
Raking leaves: 225 calories
This is very similar to vacuuming and is one for the core and arms.
■ For more information, see juliabuckleyfitness.com .