Fitness & Nutrition

Making Your Seasonal Chores a Good Workout, Too

November 1, 2021

Hancock Wellness Centers are a great help for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it’s just too hard to get to the gym. When you find yourself struggling to fit a gym workout into your schedule, don’t give up—instead, use your fall and winter chores to add movement back into your life.

Stack your life!

Katy Bowman, author and movement expert, coined the term “stack your life” to refer to fitting in a dose of exercise while completing everyday tasks. What she means is that you can fit more movement into your daily routine by simply changing how you do things or by adding certain chores to your to-do list. For instance, instead of using a leaf blower to rid your yard of leaves, use a good, old-fashioned rake instead. The strength-building and cardio of raking turns an afternoon of yardwork into a total body workout. The same goes for shoveling snow instead of using a blower.

If you have a fireplace or backyard firepit, hand chop and stack the wood yourself instead of purchasing it from a store. When you perform tasks like this, though, it’s important to keep proper form to avoid injury, especially as you age. Never bend at the waist to pick up things from the ground. Instead, squat with your legs, keeping your back straight. You will feel the burn after a short amount of time. You can even enlist your family to help and get everyone their daily dose of movement at the same time!

Gardening isn’t just for summer

Gardening is a great summer activity, but it’s often forgotten once fall rolls around. Cleaning up and winterizing your garden provides various types of movement for the body. Bending down, squatting, kneeling, and reaching are all great for keeping you limber and building strength. You can even add in some fall planting with bulbs, garlic, spring cabbage, or broad beans.

Get your family in the game

Kids can help clean windows from the outside, rake leaves, and put summer toys and tools away to prepare for the winter season. They may also enjoy helping out indoors. Many families find fall and winter a great time to minimize their life by sorting out clothes and toys that are no longer needed. If your home has multiple levels, carry donated items of boxes or bags up or down stairs for an added dose of cardio.

You and your family can also deep clean your home. Add in some strength building exercise by trading your mop for a rag. A mixture of baking soda and water is great for little hands to remove all those greasy, grimy spots on your kitchen floor. The same goes for baseboards or other surfaces in your home. When you’re done, take a walk outside as a cool-down to burn even more calories and enjoy the crisp fall air.

You don’t have to visit a gym every day to stay healthy this season. Instead, you can exercise at your local wellness center and add in some extra movement at home. Whether you enjoy raking, mowing, or shoveling snow, there are always options for building strength while also getting your chores done for the season.