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5 Ways to Squeeze Healthy Habits into Your Chores

Ever feel like you’re up against an endless to-do list? You’re not alone! For those of us juggling one thing after another, something eventually has to give. Unfortunately, many of us tend to cut out healthy habits that only benefit ourselves so as not to disappoint others. Physical and mental exercise is vital to wellbeing, and a busy schedule shouldn’t stop you from getting it. The good news is that you can squeeze these elements into a lot of mundane regular chores! Here are 5 easy ways to squeeze healthy habits into your daily chore list.

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Mindful Stretching

Whether stocking the top shelf of the kitchen pantry or crouching down low to sweep deep beneath the dining table, a lot of chores involve reaching, bending, and stretching. Rather than rush, slow down and engage your muscles in mindful stretching. A slow, intentional reach towards the top cabinet can turn into a full body stretch, which can be excellent for the calves, back, torso, neck, and arms. It can even provide a small dose of calmness and decompression into an otherwise stressful and busy day.

Work Out While Waiting

Many tasks require you to practice patience. Fill these brief moments of waiting with physical activity for a practical (and healthy!) way to multi-task. Sticking something in the microwave for a quick 30-second zap? Instead of standing there waiting for the dinger, do some steady squats right there in the kitchen. And there’s no need to count! Thirty seconds of squats can create more than enough burn, so try to stick it out until the buzzer goes off and don’t stress about your total count. Waiting on line at the grocery store? Use the opportunity to do some calm raises or some shoulder shrugs with your groceries. You get the idea!

Listen and Learn

Mental stimulation is also key for health and wellbeing. Daytime dramas often provide background noise for household chores, like folding laundry or washing dishes. As much as you may be hooked on one storyline or another, swap a daytime soap for a 30-minute podcast that gets your mind moving. The great thing about podcasts is that you can find just about any topic you fancy, from history lessons to economics to science discussions and beyond. Having something like this playing in the background during otherwise mundane activities will keep your mind stimulated.

Pick Wisely at the Parking Lot

Running errands in the car? Rather than cruising the closest lanes to get a great spot, pick the parking spot farthest away from the door. This guarantees a few extra steps in your walk from car to store and back. Squeezing in a few extra steps is great for heart health, and it will only tack on 1-2 minutes to your trip overall. And if you ae doing this EVERY time you run an errand, those steps can really add up. Definitely worth it!

Cleaning Dance Party

Is it housecleaning day? Instead of being bored by vacuuming, mopping and everything else involved in cleaning, blast your favorite dance music and you shake that booty through your cleaning routine. You will make the process of cleaning significantly more enjoyable while burning almost twice as many calories….that’s a real win-win!

Most importantly, don’t sweat about not breaking a sweat! Life can get busy, and that’s okay. With a little creativity, you can still squeeze healthy habits into your routine without leaving daily chores undone!

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Dr. Candice Seti


California-licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Personal Trainer

Dr. Candice Seti

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