Forget Zumba, Spinning, Pilates or whatever exercise craze is currently "in" and say hello to a revolutionary exercise that I like to call...Cardio Mop!
For those of you unfamiliar with houses in Mexico, most homes don't have wall-to-wall carpeting. But some of us are lucky enough to have wall-to-wall tiling. And not that vinyl peel-and-stick kind of tiling. I'm talking handmade cement tiles. (Some are quite lovely.)
Part of every Mexican housewife's morning routine is to sweep and mop the entire house. EVERY day. Luckily my house is small, so this workout only takes me 30 minutes from start to finish. Most days.
I like to start my "work-out" with a warm-up which consists of sweeping the bedrooms, bathroom, living room, dining room and kitchen. There's bending and stretching to get all of the dust, candy wrappers, toys, shoes, stray school supplies and lost socks from under the furniture. Followed by a quick run around the house trying to put everything back where it belongs.
Now that I've got my heart rate up, it's time to start the real workout.
Fill a bucket with water and add your favorite cleaning solution: bleach, Pinol or Fabuloso. (I love that purple stuff!) A little aroma therapy really helps makes for a much more pleasant workout.
Dip your mop in the bucket and wring it out, but not completely. The first pasada (passing of the mop) is best with a very wet mop. The extra water adds weight which will help in shaping and toning your biceps, triceps and shoulders. Mop one or two rooms at a time, making sure to really put your weight into pushing the mop around, which will help work every muscle in your body.
Return the mop to the bucket, then wring it out completely. This final pasada is to dry the floor and is the second set of your workout.
Continue to mop the remaining rooms, until your entire house is clean and you feel the burn in every muscle.
Now that's what I call a great workout! And it's also great for relieving stress!
As a co-founder of H.A.H. (Housewives Against Housework), I wasn't always fond of having to mop my house every single day. But there was only one thing I disliked even more...EXERCISE. Since both activities are necessary evils, why not turn such an arduous chore into a workout, thus killing two birds with one stone.
Now if only I could convince the folks at Bally's or 24-Hour Fitness that Cardio-Mop is sure to be the next big exercise craze.
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