Laundry and leg liftsPosted by Lori Welbourne
Nine years ago when I was running my own daycare, I encouraged the kids to tidy up by making it into a game and singing this Barney classic with them: “Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up. Clean, clean up, everybody do your share.”
For some reason, this song doesn’t work on my husband.
“It looks fine in here,” he will say in a room full of chaos. “Under the clutter it’s clean.” Personally, I don’t care how clean it is under the clutter, I just want everything put away. I do my best to accomplish this with the limited time I have, but strangely enough, once this goal is achieved in our home, the tidiness never lasts long.
“I’ll tell you how to make housekeeping more rewarding,” my friend told me recently. “You make it part of your daily exercise routine. Kill two birds with one stone.” I’m not into killing birds, but I am into deriving more satisfaction from something as mundane and never ending as housecleaning, so I was all ears. “Schedule a chunk of time in your day, turn up your favourite exercise tunes, and go for it just like you would if you were working out in the gym.”
I liked the idea, but could substituting cleaning with exercise really be an option? “It depends on your output of energy and what you’re doing,” my friend explained. “If you’re just puttering around, no. But if you move swiftly you can definitely build up a sweat and you won’t need to work out later.” Having always fantasized about getting my house cleaned by a professional while I lifted weights elsewhere, reality set in and I started to seriously consider her strategy.
Yes, I could do this, and while I’m at it, why not turn it up a notch? I could increase the intensity of my cleaning by simply wearing some ankle and wrist weights as I dusted and mopped. I could also do butt clenches and calf raises as I washed dishes, and a sit up for every piece of laundry I picked off the floor to fold.
And why stop there? I could apply this physical exertion to other parts of my life as well. Instead of pushing around a shopping cart like I normally do, I could lace up my runners and jog through the store. I could perform walking lunges down the street to pick up the mail. I could do jumping jacks as I cheered for the kids at their soccer games. And an evening stroll around the lake could burn way more calories if I wore a weighted vest and skipped along the walkway instead.
The multi-tasking possibilities were endless, but after a few minutes I felt exhausted at the mere thought of them. Maybe my husband’s right: under the clutter it probably is pretty clean.
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