Actually, vacuuming DOES count…
Yup… you heard that right: vacuuming your house DOES count as exercise. In fact, all movement counts. Dr. Mike Evans, a doctor in Canada, is heavily interested in preventative medicine did a review of which preventative course of action would have the biggest impacts–what would you do FIRST on your path to preventing some of the major issues in life. Surprise, surprise–it was exercise. Can I tell you how much I hate exercise? Which is ironic because I used to be quite the athlete “back in the day”. But seriously–I cringe to hear the word. You? Okay… then we’re in this together–and it’s NOT THAT BAD!
What he FOUND was that really, you needed roughly a 20 minute walk each day for optimal health. What? What was that? A 20 minute walk? Really? No gym membership? No trainer? Nope… a 20 minute walk. Every day. You could even break it up into pieces. In fact, even if you just do it at lunch time during the business week–you’re good. For children, the recommendation increases to an hour/day. But his reviews of the available research seemed to show that after 30 minutes/day of activity, the rate of return decreased (meaning it wasn’t really worth the effort). And for those of you putting in 15 hours/week of circuit training, you run the risk of adrenal fatigue among other things. This is a great, short (less than 10min) video that goes through Dr. Evans findings.
And if you have a child with ADHD, take them with you. Research has shown that symptoms improve with physical activity. In my own house, the men take a morning walk before breakfast–and they take the dogs to get some of their energy out. Win-win(-win).
At the end of the day, tally up the vacuuming, how many times you ran up and down the stairs, how far you walked to the store entrance and if you’re short, have yourself a little dance party (if you have kids–they love this). But get active. Nothing outrageous, just getting the blood moving.
Since I implemented my lunchtime walk, I have to say that I definitely feel differently when I miss it. That’s probably a good thing. It’s simple enough to do, so there’s no excuse for not doing it; and if you watch the video, they go through some of the rather surprising effects that are achieved with such a seemingly minimal effort. It was enough to convince me. I hope it convinces you!
If you need support getting motivated or taking the next steps, let me know!