Workout and Clean Your House at the Same Time

Some days it feels like there aren’t enough hours in a day to complete every task that needs to be done. It’s extremely difficult to establish a balance and routine with work, family life, house maintenance, friendships, volunteer work, extra-curricular activities, etc. Even finding time for basic survival tasks like eating, sleeping and hygiene can be a struggle some days. More times than not, personal fitness gets placed on the back burner because it’s hard to find a time to fit it in and unfortunately it tends to be the easiest responsibility to sacrifice. If this sounds familiar here is a potential solution for you – What about combining exercise with household tasks? What if you could burn some extra calories while you clean your house? Sound interesting? Here are a few ways to help make this happen!

Exercise with Household Tasks

Tip: Wear ankle and wrist weights during tasks to add resistance which in turns helps tone muscles and burn more calories.

Shoveling Snow

This is an excellent upper body and core workout in itself but you can increase the calories burnt by squatting as low as possible before throwing the snow.

You can also turn this chore into cardio if you increase your speed – but do not sacrifice your form for speed. Only go as fast as you can while maintaining the proper form of lifting with your legs, not your back.

Washing windows

Each time you move the ladder to the next window do an exercise using the ladder or beside the ladder. Aim for at least 15 repetitions at each window.


  • Steps Ups on a ladder
  • Knee Ups on a ladder
  • Incline/Decline Push Ups on a ladder
  • Sit Ups with legs raised on a ladder


Do shoulder presses with a laundry basket full of clothing before you start folding (Ex: 3 sets of 15 lifts above head).

Fold five items, do 15 basket lifts and repeat until folding is completed.

Raking Leaves

EMOM (“Every Minute On Minute”)

Raking is a great upper body and core workout, you can add to it by setting a timer to go off every minute and perform an exercise when it goes off.


  • 1 Minute Rake
  • Lunges for 1 Minute
  • 1 Minute Rake
  • Squats for 1 Minute
  • 1 Minute Rake
  • Push Ups for 1 Minute
  • 1 Minute Rake
  • Leg Raises for 1 Minute
  • 1 Minute Rake
  • Jumping Jacks for 1 Minute

If you find one minute is not enough time to make any headway with the raking, increase your time as you see fit. The key is to establish a pattern and stick to it until the job is done and you have a sufficient workout.

Deep Bathroom Clean

There are many tasks involved in cleaning a bathroom, between each individual task throw in an exercise or two. Also, when performing scrubbing motions, bend with your legs and twist from your hips to incorporate your leg and core muscles rather than completely relying on your arms.

  • Scrub the tub
    • Do 30 front lunges (15 per leg)
  • Clean the Toilet
    • Do 30 back lunges (15 per leg)
  • Clean the sink and vanity
    • Do 30 squats
  • Clean the mirror
    • Do 15 push ups
  • Sweep the floor
    • Do 30 Sit-ups
  • Scrub the floor
    • Do 15 burpees

Incorporate these routines and ideas into any tasks to kill two birds at one stone. Be productive and get fit at the same time!

Things to Always Keep in Mind

  1. Use proper form. Lift with your knees not your back, twist at your feet, not your waist
  2. Wear proper footwear
  3. Check surroundings for hazards before beginning
  4. Wear compression stockings if you deal with swelling or other circulation issues
  5. If you have an unstable joint explore bracing options
  6. If using a ladder be sure to have it on level ground and someone steadying it if possible

How Can We Help?

At the Arthritis and Injury Care Centre, we strive to help patients on their journey and provide them with the education and support they need. If you or a loved one would like more information on how we can help, please contact us for an opportunity to meet with one of our staff.

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