Did you know you can improve your upper body strength doing regular household activities? In our culture of convenience, we have lost a lot of opportunities to maintain daily functional strength. I posted a few weeks ago some playful and effective ways to clean your house while building strength and mobility (Clean House, Happy Body Video). I hope you have been trying them out!
This week we are going to explore that notion a little further. Where else can you keep your joints mobile and your strength up doing the things you are already doing?
Let's look at something we all do, laundry... which is fully my least favourite thing to do. Does this sound familiar to you? When you lift that big laundry basket full of clothes, do you push your hips out in front of you and prop the basket against your belly and pelvis?
When you carry heavy objects like that (including babies and children!) we loose an essential opportunity for maintaining strength and alignment, forgoing the strong muscles in your backside (glutes, hamstrings), core strength and upper body strength.
Look at the two pictures. Notice how my pelvis is forward and I'm resting the bulk of the weight on my hips. My feet are turned out and my arms aren't doing too much. To make this more functional and effective for whole body health:
- Back your pelvis over your heels.
- Shift the basket away from your body to use the muscles in your arms, core and back.
- Relax your shoulders away from your ears.
A really simple way to use your body when doing everyday things. Remember, if you don't use it, you loose it! Keep your body strong and functional all day long with mindful adjustments and thoughtful approaches to the habits and activities you do everyday. What are some other everyday activities you do that you can sneak in more strength and mobility? Please share in the comments below!