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