Don’t Let House Work Cripple You!

In my house, my wife and I share the household chores. I do most of the vacuuming, laundry, and dishes and she does mopping, cooking, dusting, and bathrooms. We take turns on the glass in the shower depending on who takes the last shower. There are many chores we do together so that neither one of us are exhausted from working all day, then come home to do house work. Funny thing is, I enjoy doing these chores with my wife.

The point here is, these chores work our shoulders, hands, hips, thighs, and feet. House work is a real workout all itself. Think about vacuuming or mopping. You are standing, but you are leaning over, pushing and pulling the mop or vacuum. The heavier these tools are, the more work you do. By leaning over, you are shortening the abdominal muscles, tightening the chest muscles, and tightening the front of your neck. These actions will lead to headaches and mid back pain. The surprise here is, these chores tighten the calves and hamstrings, because they are supporting the upper body as it is bent over. This will lead to low back pain or stiffness. Second surprise is, the shins. When you push our on a mop or vacuum, the shins will grip your toes so you don’t fall on your face. This can lead to lower knee pain, right under the knee cap. Most health care professionals are taught to treat the site of the pain and if they do, you may get temporary relief but it will come back and nag you. The cause of muscle pain is rarely at the site of the pain. Some professionals may tell you it is the bones, but bones cannot move without the muscles applying pressure on them. If bones could move, quadriplegics could get up without their muscles and we know that is not true.

Always start your day with a few minutes of stretching, like 15 minutes. Think about your chores for the day. If you are mopping or vacuuming, think about the muscles we just discussed. If you are cooking or washing dishes, you are rotating your shoulders, shortening your chest muscles, shortening the front of your neck, and tightening your hamstrings. All of these will cause stiffness. Dusting is same as washing dishes. Doing laundry requires the use of the front of thighs and calves to lift the clothes into the washer, rotating torso muscles to move the clothes from the laundry basket to the washer, and forearm muscles to actually grab the clothes. Next you will do it again to put the clothes in the dryer. These are all repetitive motions that you can prepare for to prevent the stiffness and pain before it ever gets started.

I know I said to start stretching with about 15 minutes of stretching, next, about every 30-45 minutes stop and stretch again for about 3-5 minutes. Do this throughout the day to keep your body from tightening up. Which stretches do you do? First, think about the activity that you are doing and what parts of your body are you working, then stretch the opposite muscles from the ones that get tight. Where can you get these stretches? Go to my YouTube channel, The Muscle Repair Shop and download the videos or contact me at my website and ask for all the stretches. I will help with which ones to do to solve your pain. These stretches are very different from you have done in the past regardless of whether a trainer, PT, or other therapist taught you. You can do your work at home and not have to feel tired and stiff when you are done, regardless of your age. Plus you can do them much faster so you can play more!