Raking the yard is already a great workout. Do it for half an hour and you'll burn about 171 calories, which is close to what you'd expend by running a mile. Boost the calorie burn with this twist:
- Areas worked: arms, shoulders, stomach, back, and sides.
- Starting position: Rake gripped in both hands, right hand lowest on the rake handle; arms extended to make a long rake stroke.
- Action: Reach the rake out as far as you can, and pull debris back toward your left foot by taking long, steady strokes while twisting your hips and upper body to the left. Do half of your raking with this motion, and then move your left hand below your right on the rake handle and do the rest with a left-to-right twisting motion.
- Tip: Start by raking for only a few minutes with this motion and work your way up as you get stronger. This motion works well when sweeping floors, too. Consult your healthcare provider first if you have back problems.
Squeaky Clean Squats
Whether you're mopping the floor, washing the car, or scrubbing windows, you can get a lower body workout with a couple of buckets half-filled with water:
- Areas worked: arms, thighs, buttocks.
- Starting position: Stand with one bucket handle gripped in each hand, feet shoulder-width apart; back, arms, and legs straight.
- Action: Keep your arms straight down at your sides while you slowly squat by bending at the knee and hip joints. Lower yourself until your thighs are roughly parallel to the ground, then return to starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Tips: To avoid injury, keep your knees centered over your toes when squatting, do not allow your thighs to dip beyond parallel to the ground, and keep your back straight.