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At-Home Exercise: Turn Housework Into a Workout

When you're caring for someone else, demands on your time and requests for attention never end. Days are a blur of work, household chores, caregiving, errands and family time. For caregivers, having no time to go to the gym isn't an excuse to skip exercising – it's a reality of life. But that doesn't mean you have to take a break from your exercise routine.

New York fitness expert and personal trainer Sara Haley shared with AgingCare her tips on how to find time for a workout in the comfort of your own home.

"The key to a healthy lifestyle is maintaining a rigorous exercise routine," she says. "It's the regular balance of cardio, strength and endurance training that produces the most long-lasting and noticeable results. But you don't have to go to the gym to get results. You can get fit without leaving the house."

Make Cleaning Count

The stretching, lifting and sheer physical work involved in mopping floors, scrubbing tubs and other housework can get you moving. Put on your sneakers, play some lively music and pick up the pace.

Step It Up on Your Stairs

Don't run up and down your household stairs for nothing! Make those countless trips count by incorporating speed and agility drills and lunges as you step it up from floor to floor. Just remember to keep your shoes on. Improper workout footwear can cause injuries such as ankle strains and fractures, as well as bunions and corns.

Sculpt and Fold

Lifting laundry can be tough. Tone your arms by keeping them raised at 90° angle as you carry the laundry basket. Work your legs with squats and lunges as your fold. You'll tidy up while you trim down!

Burn as You Bite

When it comes to food, especially snacking, moderation is key. Keep snacking in line by holding a wall squat as you snack. "Your buns will burn and binging will be swept aside," Ms. Haley says.

Vacuum Squats

As you vacuum the floor, do split lunges. Lunge forward to work the thigh and gluteus muscles. Be sure to keep your back straight, your head facing forward and don't let your knees go out farther than your toes.

You've got to do chores, so why not make the most of your menial jobs and tone up while you do?

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