Rehab Orthopedic Medicine, Dr. Ralph D'Auria logo for print

1452 Church Street
Decatur, GA 30030

Phone: 404-378-8002
Fax: 404-378-6226

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1452 Church Street
Decatur, GA 30030

Fitness for Homebodies

Take Your Household Chores Up a Notch!

If you enjoy the warmth and simple pleasures of being at home, you probably want to do your workouts at home. Even without fancy space-consuming equipment, there are some simple exercises that you can meld into your cozy day. In fact, those who share your home with you may not even notice you working up a sweat…unless you are lifting the couch, of course. And, as an added bonus, you could get relief from the everyday pains that are caused by a lack of exercise.


If you have stairs, use them. Don’t make a pile of things that have to go up or down so you can save yourself a few trips. Every time you need something, go get it. If you have an office at home, make it upstairs so that you have to come downstairs for food, entertainment, answering the door, the phone you forgot on the table, etc. Often, older people will want a house that is all on one floor. And, that may be necessary for fall prevention. But, for those who can manage, stairs will help strengthen the muscles needed for stability.


Taking care of your dirty clothes presents a perfect opportunity to do a few squats. In fact, any time you need to bend down and pick something up, make it a well-formed squat. You would be surprised at how many you will end up doing in a day…especially if you pick up one item or piece of clothing at a time. If you can’t squat, try standing back from the washing machine and tossing the clothes in. Twist, turn and toss. Do the same with the heavier wet clothes to the dryer.

The Dishwasher

Some people get pain from standing in a slight hunch over the sink for any length of time. But, loading the dishwasher presents a great opportunity to stretch and bend…one plate at a time. Plant your feet wide and use your hips as much as possible. The twisting will keep your hips from getting weak or stiff from too much relaxing. For unloading, the further the distance your dishwasher is from your cupboards, the more exercise you will get. Bend, twist, stretch, repeat!


Turn sweeping, mopping, vacuuming or raking into a lunge party. Every time you bring the mop forward, drop one knee to the ground. It may take a little longer, but with music it will be a blast. Your arms will also get a good workout. Be sure to switch between the left and right side from time to time. Want more? Add a little twist to your sweeping for even more effect.


When it's time to take out the trash, hold the bag up in front of you and give it a few lifts before dropping it in the bin. Do the same thing with groceries, your briefcase, and anything else you carry around during the day. A gallon of milk can be used for a powerful side stretch. With your feet placed slightly wider than your shoulders, slowly bend at the waist to the side, lowering the hand with the milk (or other weight) down your side as far as it will go. Hold your stretch, then, stand back up and repeat.

If you think about it, there are plenty of ways to create physical work throughout the day. It may not seem like a lot, but it adds up…and could make a huge difference in how you feel. Pain is often the result of a sedentary lifestyle. A big part of fitness is simply a matter of doing what you can to stay active…even if that means doing leg lifts from your easy chair.