Today’s Post #21211

Here we are – the Saturday you’ve been looking forward to all week.  Time to put our feet up and relax.  Only problem are those pesky chores we’ve got to get done before Monday comes!

But there is a silver lining here when it comes to attaining and sustaining a healthy weight:

CHORES BURN CALORIES

As a matter-of-fact, I once had a client who absolutely REFUSED to engage in any sort of exercise program.  She insisted that she got no pleasure out of any kind of physical activity.  Suggesting a walk or bike ride on a beautiful day was fruitless.

But I did not give up – there had to be something physical she enjoyed doing.  Something physical that could give her a sense of satisfaction and that she’d be willing to do regularly.

Turned out it was housework and gardening.  Now, if she was doing housework and gardening already that would mean she was active already – right?  So, she should be losing weight and adding muscle – right?

Well, it also turned out that she was using every tool known designed to take the “effort” out of it.  So, we made a few changes:

  • She got down on her hands and knees to wash and wax her floors instead of the electric gizmo she was using
  • She swept her lino and hardwood instead of vacuuming
  • She started using a non-electric carpet sweeper during the work week
  • She did mini-lunges while vacuuming on the weekend
  • She washed dishes by hand
  • She cleaned her windows, mirrors, walls, and woodwork more often
  • She bought a push mower
  • She raked leaves with a rake instead of a blower
  • She swept her porch and deck with a broom instead of a blower
  • Instead of gathering things to be taken upstairs to reduce the number of trips, anytime she saw anything that belonged upstairs – she took them
  • I encouraged her to do her chores without taking a break for 30 minutes at a time (cardio)
  • I encouraged her to apply as much “elbow grease” as she could (strength training)

Believe it or not – doing chores became this woman’s workout program.  And it worked!

Now, not all of us are going to embrace such a plan.  I like a clean house, but it certainly isn’t my workout of choice.

On the other hand, if you’re stuck doing chores that cut into you workout plans on the weekend or during the week it’s nice to know that you can burn calories getting your chores done – and you want to do it the “old-fashioned” way to burn even more calories when getting things done means NOT getting your exercise in.

Here are a couple links regarding the subject:

http://www.fitness-diet.becomegorgeous.com/exercises/burn_calories_with_housework-634.html

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/01/26/tem_tem2a.html

This calorie calculator includes common chores around the house as well as other home maintenance activities:

http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc

 

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2 thoughts on “Today’s Post #21211

  1. Sorry it took me so long to have a look at your blog but I LOVE it!! I will come back often to check it too. I love the pics of you too, you look GREAT!!! I really like what you had to say about using housework as a workout. That may be just what I need to get the extra activity I have been lacking and as I too hate to exercise this idea may work for me too!

    Cathy Gray
    http://cathygworld.wordpress.com

    • Thanks for your kind words – and I am happy to see you use the word “activity” – the American lifestyle has changed so tremendously, making our lives sedentary. At my age I can remember pushing our old vacuum around as a teenager – it was HEAVY – the one I have now weighs nothing. Years ago both American men and women had to be more active just to get things done. Can you imagine the calories my Grandmother burned using a washing machine where you had to put the clothes through a roller and then have to hang heavy wet wash out to dry on the clothesline?

      Any activity we build into our day is good – physical activity is exercise. Sometimes I think people get hung up on the idea that exercise is something you have to do in a gym 🙂

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