5 active uses for household items
Who says exercise needs to happen at the gym? For a great work
out you won't even need to leave the house. Accredited Exercise
Physiologist Emma Briskey writes on how everyday household items
can be used as exercise equipment.
1. Cans, jugs and bottles
These make excellent (and cheap) weights. Start off with canned
food and slowly move your way up to heavier items as you get
stronger. Empty milk bottles filled with sand or water make great
weights, particularly if they have handles. If you find you need a
heavier weight, large laundry detergent bottles or even heavy books
are a good option. Use the weight to do bicep curls or hold on to
them while you do lunges or squats.
2. The kids' toys
Instead of cursing as you trip over the skipping ropes and hula
hoops lying around the house, pick them up and give it a go.
Skipping is a fantastic cardio exercise - and you'd be surprised at
just how fun it is. Just 10 minutes of skipping can burn between
300 and 460 kilojoules - that's almost twice as much as walking for
the same amount of time! Or try out the Hula Hoop to give your abs
and hip muscles a great workout. Once you get the hang of the
traditional Hula Hoop style, try it on one leg to improve your
balance and engage your core muscles.
3. The back steps
Steps provide a great exercise station for a range of
activities. If you have a number of steps, run or walk quickly up
them and walk down slowly to recover. Rest for 1-2 minutes and
repeat 3-5 times.
If you only have a few steps, use them for step ups. Step up
with your left foot and then follow with your right leg, raising
your right knee as close to your chest as possible (hold on to a
railing or wall if needed). Step back down with your right
leg, followed by your left. Repeat 10-15 times on each leg,
alternating your lead leg. Step ups work your leg and
buttocks muscles and also improve your balance.
4. The vacuum cleaner
Every time you vacuum or sweep complete a few sets of lunges for
a quick leg workout. As you push the vacuum cleaner forward, take a
big step forward and lunge. Make sure your front knee stays behind
your toes. Repeat using your other leg. Talk about
5. Babies and children
Include your kids in your exercise regime for some great bonding
time. Cuddle your little one while doing squats and lunges to add a
little extra weight to your workout.Lie them on the groundunder you
while you do push ups and give them a kiss on your way down or do a
plank and sing their favourite song while you hold the plank. For
older kids get them out and active with you. Play basketball or
soccer in the backyard, have scooter races or play tiggy. Not only
will you have fun exercising but you will get your kids in the
habit of being active every day too.