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Spring CleaningIf you are like most people, you may have stuff that takes up space in your attic, basement, garage or maybe all three. This stuff or “junk” has not been used in years. It just takes up space and adds clutter to your home and life. Spring time is a perfect time to tackle getting rid of this stuff and fitting in a workout at the same time. Forget the mantra, “no pain, no gain”. Doctors now say that short bursts of mild exercise will make you healthier. Just 30 minutes a day can really help you. Intensity is very important. It’s also important to work quickly. “To get more benefit, speed up the time in which you do something,” says Mary Findley, a former professional housecleaner who now owns Mary Moppins, a mop-manufacturing company in Eugene, Ore. According to Webmd, here are some tips for making spring cleaning a workout:

• Put on some fast music — rock and roll, salsa, whatever you like. This helps you pick up speed, Findley says. A bathroom should only take 20 minutes to clean, she says. So get moving!

• Whenever you’re doing chores, tighten your abs. This prevents you from slouching.

• Stretch extra-high to knock down those cobwebs or prune that limb. You should feel it along your side.

• Strive for large up-and-down movements. When cleaning a shower door, for example, make big circles. “I am a trainer and I feel like my arm is about to fall off!” exclaims Mandel.

• Carry heavy baskets of laundry or supplies up from the basement, if your conditioning allows.

• Climb on a stepladder every chance you get. “What’s the difference between this and a step class?” Mandel asks.

• Scrub floors on your hands and knees. And get on your hands and knees to pull out all that dust and clutter hiding under the bed.

• Do lunges while vacuuming (keep toes pointed straight ahead, and don’t bend your knees further than 90 degrees). You’ll feel it in your thighs.

• When putting away dishes, face forward and twist to reach the cabinets.

• In the garden, lunge toward weeds. “Some of them have roots 5 feet long,” Mandel says. “Those’ll give you a workout!”

• Pruning requires forearm strength (and helps develop it). It also requires reaching on your toes — like a calf raise, Mandel says. So volunteer for this chore, and don’t be afraid of thicker or higher branches.

• Pouring mulch or fertilizer from a heavy bag requires a squat. Remember to use your legs, not your back.

• Wielding a weed-eater is like fencing, almost. Pull in those abs and pay attention to your form.

• If you have area rugs,

beat them using a clean broom rather than vacuuming. This means more steps to get outside and more exercise for your arm muscles. Once you are done your spring cleaning, you may have lot’s of junk left over. Call a junk removal company to come by and pick it up. The service is convenient and will allow you finally have space in your basement or garage.

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