Our Community

How Household Cleaning Can Help Seniors Stay Healthy

Jason Lewis
Published On
April 25, 2019

Are you a senior who is looking for simple and inexpensive ways to stay in shape? Well, we have some great news for you. You don’t need a pricey gym membership or a ton of home gym equipment to get the exercise you need to stay healthy. In fact, some of the most effective workouts you can do for your body can be easily combined with your day-to-day household chores. So keep reading for some simple fitness/cleaning tips you won’t want to miss.

Keep Your Personal Safety a Top Priority

Before we dive into the ways you can stay fit while cleaning and maintaining your home, let’s cover some guidelines to keep you safe. If you have issues with a range of motion or are not used to a lot of housework, you probably know you’re better off letting professionals take care of more strenuous tasks, like climbing ladders to clean out your gutters or repairing your roof. You can farm out these projects to BBB-recognized pros to handle the work for you, and avoid the dangers of falls or other injuries. It’s also important to check in with your healthcare provider before starting any new workout program, especially if you live with a chronic condition, such as heart disease or arthritis. The point of the exercise is always to be kind to your body, not to put yourself at risk by doing too much.

Work on Your Balance While Washing Dishes

Dishes are a normal part of life. For seniors looking to get a little more exercise, this is a prime time to do so. Make sure you are standing on a skid-resistant mat first and then practice a simple balance pose. Slowly lift one leg as far as you’re comfortable and try to hold it there while you work on rinse your dishes. To keep things even safer, you may want to practice by holding onto the counter or a chair first.

Once you’ve got this single leg pose down, you can move onto other balance and flexibility-improving poses, but be sure to do those when you have your feet and hands-free. Work on more advanced balance poses on an exercise mat too, to provide some added cushion in case you do fall over.

Pump Some Iron While Putting Groceries Away  

As we age, our muscle mass tends to naturally fade away. This loss of muscle can make aging in place more challenging for seniors. You have to work to get those muscles back, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work smarter. Rather than picking up an extra set of weights to clutter your home, use your groceries to get your arms and shoulders into shape. Grab a couple of cans of soup and get an arm-toning workout in one minute. If getting more out of your groceries feels like fun, you can use other household goods, like coffee, rice, and milk, to work the other parts of your body. As with any exercise or activity though, be sure that you are wearing supportive shoes and take it slow, to prevent injuries.

Clean Your Carpets While Strengthening Your Core

Washing dishes and stocking your pantry are not the only household chores that can keep you healthy. If you want a gentle yet effective workout for your core, then you should whip out your vacuum cleaner and start working on your floors. Pushing a vacuum around the house not only helps burn calories, but it’s also a great way to engage the muscles in your stomach to strengthen your core. Your core is always important, but for older adults, a strong core can help increase mobility, which in turn can help keep you from being seriously injured in a fall. So take advantage of the benefits floor cleaning can provide. If your current vacuum is too heavy to safely push around, consider buying a lighter model to keep your vacuum workouts pain-free.

Maintaining a tidy home can prevent stress and falls for seniors, and daily exercise is important for health too. By combining both, you can make staying active feel so much easier. Plus, you will be saving more time in your day for other activities you love, which will allow you to live a fuller, happier life.

Learn More