Too busy to squeeze in a trip to the gym? Try this fast workout. You'll burn calories while doing your chores with moves that will leave you feeling energized, refreshed, and best of all, with time to spare!
Everything in this slideshow
Standing Calf Raises
The chore: washing dishes
Your fitness move: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise yourself high on your tippy toes, then slowly return to a flat-foot position. Lift and lower your heels 20-40 times, or until you feel too tired to continue.
What you're working: calves and thighs
The chore: rinsing dishes
Your fitness move: Spread your legs as wide as you can with your toes pointing slightly out. Lower your hips and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Pulse up and down 20 times, but try to push yourself all the way to 40 if you can!
What you're working: inner thighs and legs
The chore: Drying dishes
Your fitness move: Stand with your feet close together so that they're almost touching each other. Slowly bring your left foot up so the sole of your foot touches the inside of your right thigh. Hold this move, pressing your foot against your leg, for 30-60 seconds. After you lower your left foot, switch legs so that your right sole rests against your inner left thigh. Repeat twice with each leg.
What you're working: improving your balance and flexibility
The chore: loading laundry
Your fitness move: Stand a few feet from the washer and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the machine. Bend your arms slowly, bringing your chest toward the edge of the washer. Slowly push back out to a full-arm extension. Repeat 20 times.
What you're working: chest, arms, and back
Standing Leg Lifts
The chore: drying laundry
Your fitness move: Balance on your left leg and slowly kick your right leg out to your right side 20 times, to the front of the room 20 times, and to the back of the room 20 times each. Next, balance your right leg and repeat with kicks with your left foot, making sure to control your leg movements the whole time.
What you're working: butt, thighs, and abs
The chore: emptying the dryer
Your fitness move: Stand 3 feet away from the dryer and place your hands about shoulder-width apart on its top. With your legs about hip-width apart, bend forward at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor. Hold for one minute, while breathing deeply.
What you're working: back muscles
The chore: Vacuuming the family room
Your fitness move: While pushing the vacuum across the room, lunge deeply with your right leg, bending your knee at a 90-degree angle, then with your left leg. Alternate between your right and left legs until you've completed 20 lunges. Take a short break, then repeat. If you reach a dusty corner, hold your lunge and pulse up and down 20 times on each leg.
What you're working: legs and thighs
The chore: decluttering a room
Your fitness move: Once you've finished putting toys and knickknacks away, stand with your heels together and toes pointed out. Do a quick jump, landing with your legs shoulder-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Jump back to your start position quickly. Repeat this move nonstop for two minutes.
What you're working: inner thighs, lower legs, and hips
The chore: vacuuming a large room
Your fitness move: Contract your abs by pulling your navel in and breathing deeply, making sure to keep your shoulders back and your torso straight. Try to hold your stomach without resting in for five minutes -- or as long as it takes you to dust one room.
What you're working: abdominal muscles
Originally published in the September 2010 issue of Parents magazine.
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