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Is Housework, exercise?

Aug 30, 2022   •   
Is Housework, exercise?

A new twist on housework

Women juggle a lot of tasks every day. From employed work to housework, running a house to maintaining a myriad of relationships plus throw in some children for good measure and BOOM! your day is jam-packed. You get to the end of the day and then the guilt kicks in that you haven’t done a workout today. Or have you? Let us consider if housework is exercise.

Today I come bearing good news!

Incidental activity (the light activity that we do through the day without really thinking about it) is still very beneficial for your health as it:

  • Helps to boost your daily energy expenditure
  • Helps to challenge your heart and lungs
  • Offerers a huge array of other health benefits such as:
    • Maintaining healthy weight
      Promoting weight loss
      Reducing risk of cardiovascular disease
      Maintaining your strength and fitness for everyday functional activities
      Reducing the risk of some cancers
      Decreasing the risk of having a fall in older age
      Benefiting mental health and general wellbeing

What does exercise have to do with housekeeping?

Housework can be one of the easiest ways to increase incidental activity in your day and with a few tweaks, your daily housework can help you to place an extra demand on your muscles without you even needing to lift a dumbbell! But first make sure you have some good tunes pumping Housework Hits

Here are a few ideas to incorporate more movement/exercise into your housework:

  • Shaking your booty Beyonce’ style as you clean the bathroom mirrors
  • Getting low, low, low while doing a squat for every piece of laundry you fold (my record was 200 squats!)
  • High knee jogging/walking as you deliver each pile of folded laundry to the bedrooms
  • Jumping/stepping over the mop bucket every time you need to rinse the mop
  • Walking along like a duck as you sweep the skirting boards
  • Improving balance as you stand on one leg whilst washing the dishes
  • Step-ups on a chair for each individual grocery item you put away in the pantry
  • Calf raises while dusting those high spots
  • Sumo squats to pick up the children’s toys
  • Holding a kitchen bench plank for as long as you can while waiting for the kettle to boil. I got to 1 minute and 5 seconds!


The main point here is that you can absolutely take advantage of any situation to create more incidental activity into your day. Sometimes for a busy mum, small pockets of exercise time throughout the day may seem more achievable than a full, structured workout.

Putting a twist on housework can help you to reach your overall health and fitness goals.

Disclaimer. Please keep in mind that the exercises listed above may not be suitable for every person. If you are unsure about any exercises listed above, please speak to your MumSafe Trainer or your Women’s Health Physiotherapist.

Nikki Knieriem runs Body 4 Mind Connections in New South Wales, . Learn more about Nikki and Book your Trial today.

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