House work can be exercise. If one pays attention to their posture, breathing, movement while completing different tasks, then various benefits can be reaped from any activity. Exercise, per se, does not have to be maximally burning calories, lifting massive amounts of weight, or engaging in extreme levels of cardio. Any movement provides opportunities for the body to be challenged in ways that force it to adapt physiologically.
That housework is not gut busting exercise, per se. A star athlete is not going to train by using housework. However, completing various chores can allow for reinforcing various processes that make the body more stable and functional. That is to say that giving attention to given tasks can allow one to alter the movement and make it more challenging and beneficial, overall, to the body.
For example, mopping, sweeping, raking leaves, etc can be approached from several directions. Firstly, one can focus on core engagement. Bending over can strain the lower back due to lack of support. The deeper abdominal musculatures (Transversus Abdominus) are the natural corset of the body. Also, breathing rhythmically and fully, while engaging (any of) these activities can be beneficial for deeper respiration and making the process more conscious / less autonomic.
The actions of sweeping mopping and raking leaves can also benefit the back band rotational motion. Even in a hip flexed posture, with good core engagement, the back muscles can be more completely mobilized. The bodily position during while performing these activities can be conducive to developing excessive internal shoulder rotation and tightness in the pectoral muscles. The movements can address the rotational motion of the hips which, supported by core engagement and use of the back muscles can serves as a bridge that ties everything together.
Balance can also be enhanced when performing these activities. When performing any of these activities, the weight can be shifted from one leg to the next leg, say two passes on one side then two passes on the other. The physiological mechanisms involved with that actually happening will be greatly enhanced. Add to that, that action shifting the hand / body position to the opposite orientation. This would further serve to enhance neuro-physical connections throughout body, even though it might feel a bit ‘awkward’.
These are just examples of how housework can be used as a beneficial exercise modality. There are more examples that can be given. There are also ways in which housework can provide more caloric expenditure and overall muscular engagement. Another discussion would be in order for this aspect of housework to be presented. Overall, housework is movement, exercise is movement geared toward increasing endurance, improving strength or developing functionality. Housework, properly structured, can provide a good measure of these benefits to the individual.
the trainers at Ab-Sutra Wellness and Fitness can provide consultation on how to make your housework activities more functional.