Isn’t that what everyone is talking about these days? Functional training? Training that you can actually use for something in ‘real’ life? For instance Kettlebell training for mums to be or new mums in the same movement as putting the baby to bed and picking it up will feel like. Doing core work that will actually strengthen your core for something useful and not just to look good (although looking good is a great bonus). It’s good isn’t it, having the strength and stamina and use it for everyday life.
You might understand where I am going with this if you know what I have been doing the last couple of days? How moving house and cleaning house is an excellent form of functional training. Yesterday and today I have no idea how many times I have done massive bodyweight step ups on a big box (usually known as my little side table next to the couch that is no longer there) and big lift and jumps to get up on the kitchen bench to reach the ceiling. The step ups are obviously great for legs and glutes and it’s beneficial to have a strong core to support your lower back in the lift. To get up on the kitchen bench, you have to use your core to stabilise, your legs to push off and jump and your arms to push yourself up. A full body workout already and then you have to get up to a standing position.
And theeeen, you start working your shoulders. Holding your hands over your head and scrubbing and pushing and rubbing and scrubbing a little more. Before squatting (I don’t really have to tell you how great squatting is for you do I?) down to rince and get back up again. Up and down up and down all day long. Scrubbing is actually good for all the small stabilising muscles in your entire core too. And your arms of course (most likely your right one?).
Carrying boxes up and down stairs is excellent for your cardiovascular health and for your leg strength (and your core, seriously you need to look long and hard for a workout that works so much on your whole core as moving house does). Lifting the boxes is great for your back (be careful though) and legs. Having your friends over to help you is quite sociable and will probably make the whole experience a lot more fun (less working out for you though!).
No, but seriously, I’ve been moving and climbing and squatting and scrubbing and carrying for two whole days and I have not gone to the gym. Because for two days, this has been my Something for the day. More functional training than that is hard to find (unless you work as a mover, thats a workout and a half). You also get to train your willpower and your patience (especially when cleaning blinds – say no more) and sometime you get slightly high on fumes from a variety of cleaning products. All in all a great way to spend your day, right?
Being reasonably fit before starting a whole house cleaning is probably a good idea, because it is quite physical. We are getting less and less fit and strong because we stop doing these things though. We pay people to clean our house, pay someone else to mow our lawn and we even buy already sliced bread. We don’t do anything ourselves anymore, it’s actually quite sad. All those small things, such as cutting bread every day, even though they seem tiny all add up for physical activity that we have stopped doing. No walking the stairs, we have stairs that are walking for us. If you’re super busy (or just really lazy) you might even just order your groceries online and have them delivered to your door. Seriously.
Get moving, or get mowing I should say. Move more, every day. Do your own housework, do you own gardening and bake your own bread (kneading the dough by hand is actually a great workout). It’s all very functional training put into practise right then and there. And if you are short like me, you get to climb more, stretch higher, jump more and work your calves every time you are up on your toes to reach something. And most importantly, you can sit down, put your feet up and relax afterwards with a big smile on your face 🙂