Turn those winter chores into exercise

Jessica Hrbek, a Front Royal wellness coach and mother of four, said she doesn’t let the winter weather prevent her from staying in shape.

“Moms especially feel selfish if they go to the gym,” Hrbek said. “But just like everyone else, we have to take time to care for ourselves. Because in the end, it helps us all.”

Hrkek pointed out that many winter chores could double as exercise. Shoveling snow, scraping ice off windows and even chopping wood are just a few winter chores many endure here in the Valley during winter she explained.

“There are so many ways people can continue their daily workouts, even when it’s below freezing outside,” Hrbek said. “As long as (an) individual’s heart rate is up, they’re burning calories.”

According to MyFitnessPal, an app Hrbek relies on for daily calorie counting, an individual who weighs 160 pounds will burn roughly 225 calories shoveling snow for 30 minutes. Chopping wood for  30 minutes will burn roughly 225 calories and scraping ice off windows will burn up to 40 calories every 10 minutes.

No snow? No worries. Hrbek suggests taking household chores and transitioning them into a workout that can be just as enjoyable as playing in the snow.

“Cleaning the steps is a never-ending job for many,” Hrbek said. “Mail, homework, books; you name it, it lands there.”

While cleaning the steps, Hrbek suggests doubling back once or twice. “This allows for an increase in repetition,” she said. “Increasing that heart rate we keep talking about.”

A popular activity at the Hrbek household is cleaning as a family.

“We turn the music up and make cleaning the living room into a dance party,” Hrbek said. “It’s a ton of fun. We spend time together as a family. And we’re working out. It’s a win, win.”

For those looking to add some exercise to their daily to-dos but don’t have time to head to the gym, Hrbek said there are plenty of exercises that require absolutely no equipment. “Old school push-ups, jumping jacks, squats and sit ups are things individuals can do almost anywhere.”

Hrbek’s mission as a wellness coach is to help individuals find the right set of tools that help them personally with their fitness goals.

“We work together in creating the right set of obtainable goals,” Hrbek said.

She also plans healthy meals and asks her clients to hold her accountable. “I want them to feel like we’re a team.”

Despite the drop in temperatures, there’s always a way to get a workout in.

“The most important thing I tell the individuals I work with is to listen to their body,” Hrbek said. “They know it better than anyone else.”

Find Hrbek on the web at: www.FitMommaOfFour.com.