Housework workouts 3 July 2013 Share by email Page shared successfully Share again? An error has occurred on the server is currently unable to send your message. Please try again later. Please try again Your name * Please enter your name Your email address * Please enter your email Your email is invalid Friend's email address * Please enter your friend's email Your friend's email is invalid Add a message Share Cancel Tweet Buffer It’s official: scrubbing brushes and dirty dishes make us healthier. Freelance journalist Robyn Box shows you the best way to find 30 minutes of exercise while doing the housework. I am a freelance journalist dedicated to travelling and keeping fit and healthy. A tragic (but proud) cat lady, I believe in the importance of staying strong, active and healthy in the most practical ways possible. I’m also committed to laughing every day, even if that means at myself…which is usually the case. Follow me on Twitter @rbee21. Robyn Box Winter. It’s a fabulous time to do nothing in the way of physical exertion. It’s an even better time to eat sticks of butter and claim it’s ‘comfort food’. Unfortunately our bodies, minds and – worst of all – our hearts don’t like the idea of not moving regularly. We need to move. And no, I’m not talking about that sad excuse for a ‘walk’ you took two weeks ago when you popped down to Woolies for a KitKat. The problem is it’s hard. It’s hard to find the time, the motivation and the care to want to do stuff, let alone stuff that most of us don’t really want to do. However, it's not work that's chewing up our time. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we're working less hours now than we did in the 80s. Around 2 hours a week less, in fact. Sure, it was probably the preparation of our Bananarama hair dos that was consuming those additional couple of hours, but even still - why aren't we making the time to exercise these days? The truth is, we may be working less, but we're doing more. Family, friends, hobbies, travelling, taking our pet guinea pigs to an animal psychologist...you name it, we're doing it. Including all the housework. For example, just yesterday I split my time up between a full time job, a sick grandmother, a high maintenance boyfriend, a heavily medicated cat and a bed sheet that simply wouldn’t unravel correctly. That’s one big day, people. And you know what? No exercise. I did, however, clean my shower. And it got me thinking – isn’t that considered a workout? Do I have to clean 18 showers before I can count it as exercise, or is one enough? HBF’s very own Dr Duncan Jefferson seems to think so. In fact, according to Dr Jefferson, it's not the type of exercise we do, but the amount. "So yes, an extra ten minutes a day does help," he says. Ok, so what should we be doing? Thirty minutes a day is the recommended, but will the ‘wash cloth slide out’ suffice? What about the ‘squat-and-load’ washing machine manoeuvre? According to Fitday.com, making beds for 30 minutes burns the same amount of calories as if you were jogging on a treadmill for 15 minutes. WHAT? Why didn’t my mother teach me this instead of wasting time on teaching me to read? I feel like she didn’t understand me at all. It also turns out some chores are better than others to do. "Vacuuming can actually injure your back if you twist or turn incorrectly," says Dr Jefferson. "If you really want to work up a sweat, ditch the mop and grab a scrubbing brush. Then switch hands. It's not only a good workout, but is great for your co ordination". Another great workout, and quite frankly my all-time favourite, is a legitimate excuse to eat pizza. Ok, not eat it as such, but make it at least. "Make your own bread or pizza dough. The pushing and pulling is a wonderful way to engage your muscles", says Dr Jefferson. What's better still is this kind of workout gets your joints going, and if you're a woman this is your ticket to minimizing your chances of getting osteoporosis. So, now we know all this, here’s how we get our 30 minutes of exercise in each day, people: 10 minutes scrubbing the shower = 30 calories burned 10 mins washing dishes by hand = 26 calories burned 10 minutes kneading break = 50 calories burned It’s official: scrubbing brushes and dirty dishes make us healthier...and so does pizza. Excellent.