Get Fit While Spring Cleaning

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Can spring cleaning help you get ready for bathing suit season? It can if you do it right. Get ready to clean out the cobwebs, spruce up your space, and break a serious sweat with this power-cleaning, calorie-burning workout.

1) Speed matters. We're not talking about simple tidying here. We want you to move your body, stretch your arms and legs, and push yourself harder than you normally do during your regular house cleaning adventures. Add a little oomph and speed to bump up the calorie-burning and cardiovascular benefits.

2) Set the pace. Put on some fast-paced music to keep you moving and grab a timer. Mentally calculate how long it normally takes to clean a specific area. Then subtract a few minutes, set the timer, and race yourself to turn spring cleaning into power cleaning. 

3) Move big. Really reach for those high spaces where spider webs live and low spaces where dust bunnies hide. Yank dirty sheets off the bed and pull on the clean ones. Lift, tuck, spread, and fold. Exaggerated movements make your muscles work harder, burn more calories and add strength, flexibility, and balance training to your tidying.

4) Scrub hard. Use some elbow grease and scrub the daylights out of that bathtub, toilet, counter, and sink to turn an average kitchen or bathroom cleaning into a strength and cardio fitness routine. Don't forget to keep your core muscles tight.

5) Hands and knees. Forget about the mop and pull out a scrub brush and rag. Start in a neutral hands-and-knees position and tighten your abs, then start scouring.  Stretch as far as you can to clean areas just out of reach. 

6) Make circles. When scouring the floors, walls or even shower door, use large circular movements to exercise big muscles, then small circles to isolate muscles. 

7) Back and forth. Vacuum using big back and forth motions and deep lunges.  Cover the same area multiple times for extra-deep cleaning. Move quickly and you'll cover more territory, but set your time for at least 20 minutes of high-powered cardio fitness. Careful with your knees, though—don't let them sneak out over your toes.

8) Heavy and light lifting. Carry baskets filled with clutter or laundry upstairs for a weight and cardio workout. Carry smaller objects up one at a time to add, distance and elevation. Empty trash baskets one at a time, too.

9) Move outdoors. Mow that lawn, pull those weeds, reach high with the hedge clippers, dig up your vegetable patch, and plant seedlings. Don't forget to dump your clippings into the compost pile.

10) Clean sweep. Every workout should end with a cool-down period. Turn your music to a slow-paced classic, grab your broom, and add the final touches to your spring-cleaning. Then add some stretching to complete your workout.

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