Monday, March 10, 2014
Have you been keeping your New Year’s resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions are difficult to keep. Like many of you, my New Year’s resolution was to lose weight. It’s been 70 days and it’s getting harder and harder to stick to my pledge. Let’s face it — it’s been easy to stick to the diet while at work with the support of colleagues who are also trying to lose a few pounds. We eat together, support healthy food choices, and try to fit in a 15-minute walk. Walking not only helps us to clear our minds, but to return to work refreshed and focused.
I struggle with healthy habits once I get home from work. I’m running here and there to get my daughters and then bring them to and from their activities. By the time we arrive at home, it’s dark, cold and late. How can I get in some exercise when I have to make dinner, wash uniforms and prepare lunches? All of this got me thinking.
I won’t lie. I’ve been very creative with exercising - doing laundry, loading the dishwasher, dusting, vacuuming and cleaning. I suggest putting on some music — a combination of everyone’s favorites and dance around while accomplishing the household chores. Participating in housework is in fact physical activity — and you do burn calories. According to the website www.FitDay.com, dusting for 30 minutes burns about 90 calories, loading the dishwasher burns about 105 calories, vacuuming burns about 90, and going up and down the staircase burns about 285 calories. If you total up these everyday chores, you’ve burned 510 calories, plus had fun with the family.
By incorporating these daily chores into your activities, you will be teaching your children life skills, spending time together, and most importantly, burning calories. Scrubbing the soap scum off the shower tile, carrying in the groceries, or climbing the stairs to put laundry away can even help you tone muscles. I challenge you to turn mundane chores into fun exercise. Plus, your house will be sparkling clean!
Before I leave you, my last suggestion for getting moving is to play a game on the Wii. In our house, my youngest daughter likes dance videos. Please note, however, these videos can be challenging for those who are uncoordinated (myself included). My girls laugh hysterically at me as I attempt to keep up with all the moves. I wonder if I can find a waltz?
Lisa Cook is a community health nurse for the Backus Health System. This advice should not replace the advice of your personal healthcare provider. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at www.healthydocs.blogspot.com or e-mail Ms. Cook or any of the Healthy Living columnists at firstname.lastname@example.org.