Use Your Humble Abode To Stay Fit!

There's exercise to be had not just "around" the house, there's exercise to be had literally "on" the house. Your abode can be a veritable gymnasium if you know where to look.
Porter Shimer

Stairway push-ups
You can use any old flight of stairs (preferably carpeted) as a place to do inclined push-ups. They're identical to conventional push-ups except that you do them on an incline on your staircase rather than horizontally on the floor. This makes them somewhat easier than conventional push-ups, allowing you to do more.

Stairway calf stretches
Your stairs can also serve as an excellent device for exercising the calf muscles. Stand on the bottom step with your heels hanging off the edge. Lower and raise yourself, going down each time as far as you comfortably can. This is also great for stretching the Achilles' tendon (the large tendon that runs up the back of your lower leg starting at the heel). Do a set of 10 several times a day.

Porch dips
Your porch is also crying out to help you -- provided its railing is sturdy enough.

With your palms placed on the railing behind you, lower yourself as far as you comfortably can, then press up until your arms are straight again. This is an excellent strengthener for the chest muscles ("pecs") and triceps (at the back of your arms), which can swing as loosely as a hammock if neglected long enough.

Burning More Than Just Daylight

Chores are great calorie-burners! The list below gives you an idea of approximately how many calories you can burn in an hour of housework.

Ironing: 120
Grocery Shopping: 175
Making beds: 135
Mopping/sweeping: 220
Painting: 135
Scrubbing floors: 400
Shelving groceries: 220
Vacuuming: 175
Washing Dishes: 120
Washing windows: 250

Doorway deltoid strengtheners
Any doorway not busy with traffic can be an apparatus for developing the deltoids, the muscles at the very tops of your arms that give the shoulders more width.

While standing in a doorway with your arms at yours sides and the backs of your hands against the jambs, try to lift your arms upward and outward. Your arms won't go anywhere, of course, but that's the idea. You're working your deltoids isometrically. Hold each flex for about 6 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Kitchen chair step-ups
Even your furniture can get in to the exercise act, which you can discover by rethinking the chair. It's not just for sitting if it's unupholstered and stable enough: It can be used for developing the gluteus muscles, or "buns," if used as a tall step.

Do a set of 10 such giant steps up and down from the kitchen chair, and you'll see. Very good for "bringing up the rear," indeed. PregnancyAndBaby.com

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