House Calls

SPR 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { spring 2018 } 19 Not only do scrubbing and tidying help clear out your airways and soothe your mind, "cleaning the house is a full-body workout," confirms Roper St. Francis Healthcare affiliated exercise specialist Amy Levine. She notes that more labor-intensive chores such as vacuuming and mopping (which engage the upper body and lower body), scrubbing and cleaning windows (upper body and core), and making beds (upper body) burn more calories and offer a greater aerobic workout than dusting or folding laundry. "But," she adds, "any cleaning is more beneficial than sitting on the couch." By the end of your housework, not only will you breathe easier in the dust-free space, you'll be on your way to healthier lungs and a stronger heart. Here, find tips to get the best workout from your cleaning session. MAKE IT COUNT Clean Like You Mean It - Embrace the staircase. If you live in a multi-floored home, use the stairs as much as possible for an extra leg workout. For example, mop the kitchen floor downstairs, climb up to make the beds, then go back down to clean the windows. - Have a cleanest-room contest. Entice the kids to tidy their own rooms with a prize—maybe picking the dinner that night—then have the whole family compete for the neatest space. Let the children dust, organize, and vacuum, then step in for tougher tasks, like cleaning windows. WORK IT OUT: PROPER FORM: - Don't avoid the bathroom. Since this room tends to be one of the dirtiest places in the house, it also offers one of the best workouts. Hand-washing floors can burn more than 180 calories in 30 minutes, while scrubbing the tub can torch around 90 calories in 15 minutes. - Put on some beats. Studies have found that music helps people exercise better because it distracts them from fatigue and lifts their mood. Similarly, tuning in while cleaning keeps our minds occupied and may make for more efficient work. BUDDY UP. "If you're trying to move large furniture or heavy boxes, always ask for help," Levine says. "Don't try to do it alone as you'll risk straining or pulling a muscle." WEAR GLOVES. Considering cleaning sprays are powerful enough to kill stains in seconds, they're not something we want to come in contact with our skin. When using, slip on a pair of old-fashioned rubber gloves, which offer grip as well as protection. LIFT SMART. Bend at your knees, keep your back straight, and make sure you have a good grip when picking up heavy items. "Keep boxes close your body and don't twist your back," Levine adds. AIR IT OUT. Always open a window or two. Ventilating the space not only diffuses potent cleaning chemicals, but it also helps eliminate any lingering mold spores and dust mites.

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