5 minute yoga – while doing laundry
We know you are busy. There’s a pile of work to do.
And you probably have just as much to accomplish at home.
From spouses and children, to home improvements, to simply completing the tasks that keep your home running smoothly – it’s just a lot. Finding time for a bit of yoga, or any other exercise, can be tricky.
But, it isn’t impossible.
There are times in everyone’s week when multi-tasking makes a lot of sense. You can take one of the most mundane tasks, such as doing the laundry and turn it into a 5 (or 10) minute workout – without compromising the rest of your day. And, you’ll start to see results quickly. You may even be amazed at how you suddenly have the urge to get a bit of laundry done.
Doing laundry necessitates movement. The washing machine and tumble dryer require bending; hanging and folding laundry requires stretching. All you need to change is your focus on those movements.
Laundry sorting bend
Whether you care for only your laundry or your entire family’s needs, you almost never run your appliances until you have a hamper full of clothing to wash. This is a perfect time to stretch out your muscles, and strengthen your core.
Toss all your laundry on the floor, rather than setting your basket on a higher surface to sort through it. Stand in front of your pile. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and facing your pile. Pick up one garment at a time by bending from the waist, keeping your back straight. As you bend, concentrate on keeping your heels flat on the floor. This will stretch your hamstrings. Incorporate deep breathing while you sort each garment into the right pile. Continue this movement when loading piles into baskets.
Washing machine strength
We just call it that. You can use it at any time – when loading or unloading your washing machine, or your tumble dryer. It works naturally with any front loading machine. If you have top-loading machines, you may want to add this pose into your laundry sorting routine.
Stand facing your front loader, with your laundry basket in front of you. Your feet should be slightly apart, facing forward. Straighten your posture and take a deep breath. Bend straight down using your knees to lower your body. As you crouch, you will notice the weight shifting to your toes and front footpad. Keep the weight on this part of your foot, and keep your back straight while loading or unloading your machine. When finished, stand up by pushing upwards with your knees and shifting the weight back onto your heels. Keep your back long and straight and breathe deeply.
Folding sheets stretch
This is a lovely stretch. You may not even notice how much you needed it until you do it properly the first time. Although it is easiest to do this when folding large items like sheets and tablecloths, find a way to incorporate it into loads with smaller items. It’s terrific for circulation, especially for people who spend hours behind their computer screen.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and your spine straight and tall. As you grab a sheet or duvet cover, stretch your arms wide. Extend your arms from the shoulder, keeping them parallel with the floor. Allow your sheets to settle and fall while you maintain the pose for 3-5 deep breathes. Pull corners together by turning your spine to the side so one arm can reach the other. For smaller items, you can extend one arm at a time, following the same movements.
Print out a copy of this post and post it near the washing machine to remind you when doing laundry that you can get some exercise in at the same time.
Check out these other posts in our 5 minute series
Or see the complete 5 minute series page
Tell us your laundry yoga tips – if you incorporate other stretches into your routine, tell us about them by posting below.
Have you tried any of our five minute routines, or this breathing exercise? We’d love to know how they work for you.
Is there something you would like us to cover? Perhaps pilates in the shower? Or yoga you can do with your children? Just let us know.