Seven ways to exercise – without realising it

This task involves moving around the home, carrying your weapon (vacuum cleaner), lifting and moving objects to expose the enemy (dust). Here, continuous movement is your friend. Set a timer on your phone and use the AMRAP protocol (As Many Reps As Possible). This means you lift as many rugs and shift as many chairs and tables as you can within, say, a two-minute period. Between these sets take a 30-second rest and go again. You will want to feel your heart rate rise and a little “glow” taking place during this one.

Furlough the wearables from your wardrobe

Every wardrobe contains items that once felt useful but are now just reminders of that awful wedding we all attended in the early 1990s. Remove the horrible coats and unspeakable shirts, bag them and take them to the charity shop. Each bag represents five lifts and folds. 

A coat weighs 2kg – a very respectable weight. The awkwardness of the lift off the hangar will engage your core as well as your arms. Consciously keeping your core tight will make this even more effective. We suggest filling each bag without pause. Carrying the bag downstairs to the car and then from the car to the shop is a great weighted carry. The tricky shape of the bag only brings in more of the stabilising muscles. 

Tip for increasing the burn: Throw the bags into the car from as far away as you can manage. A great abs workout.

Dance like you got straight A*s

Close the curtains, make sure no one will call and put on whatever made you fling yourself about back then. Spotify helpfully has playlists defined by year of release (the unexpected forgotten tracks are the most powerful). No ballads, this will need the likes of Chic and Duran Duran to fire up long-forgotten moves. Make sure all limbs are being used and go big (the curtains are drawn, right?). Duration is what we’ll use here. The 7-inch version of Good Times lasts 3 minutes 42 seconds – keep moving throughout, no swaying, feel the heart and lungs working.

Tip for increasing the burn: The bigger the steps you make when dancing, the more energy you use. Try a minute of very exaggerated leg moves.

Clean the (safely accessible) windows

Transform the bi-fold doors and feel your heart rate rise. The garden deserves to be seen clearly. This is a perfect aerobic workout if you clean those huge plates of glass as though they were about to be inspected by a very impatient and bad-tempered quality control manager. We suggest a cloth in both hands and large, vigorous motions. Hard-to-access low areas will work your glutes and thighs if you bend your legs and squat to reach them. Set one-minute rounds and 20-second rests and polish like your annual bonus depended on it.

Tip for increasing the burn: When squatting for the low areas, stop and hold for as long as possible. Feel the thighs aflame.