Thursday, July 12, 2012

Accidental Exercise: Squats

I don't know about you, but I don't like going to the gym. Hate it really. I don't like feeling like a hamster in a wheel while I'm on a treadmill. It's so boring and I get bored easily. When I get bored, I lose interest.  When things are no longer interesting to me, I quit and move on to something more interesting.  Like naps.  Or surfing.  Internet surfing that is.  
No way am I jumping in the ocean to become shark bait.  

I have found that the easiest way for me to get exercise outside of the gym is what I like to call "accidental exercise."  It's the side effect of doing things you would normal do in your day-to-day routine that normally wouldn't be considered exercise, but the next day makes you feel like you completed a triathlon.  

Daisy May.  Loves to dig and run away when you call her.  

A few weeks ago, I got some accidental exercise when I had to sprint down the street to chase after Daisy when she dug out under the fence.  I got in some running, and also got some cardio.  My heart was pumping faster in 30 seconds than after an hour on the elliptical.  Dachshunds run so fast despite their short, stubby little legs.   

Last week, our other dog Sasha came in the house with a foxtail stuck to her side.  For those of you with dogs, you know just how dangerous foxtails can be for you little four-legged friend.  Those things can get stuck in ears, up noses, and in paws, causing pain, infections, and even hearing loss.  

One of the giant piles of weeds.  YUCK!

I knew that the weeds that I had been avoiding, had to come out ASAP.  

Early Sunday morning, Dave and I got busy working on the weeds. There were some pretty stubborn weeds out there.  In just a couple weeks, they had gotten so big and their roots had gotten so deep that I would grab them with both hands at the base and pull and I would lose my balance and fall backwards.
(And then my hubby would come up and yank it out with one hand and no effort at all...jerk) 

After a few hours, we were hot, sweaty, and dirty.  We had finally pulled all the weeds out of the yard.  It was starting to look better.  We threw all the weeds in the green bin, and it was filled up to the top.  We showered and went about our normal Sunday activities of preparing for the work week.  

Monday morning, the alarm goes off, and I sluggishly roll out of bed.  I was in quite a bit of pain, but that's sadly pretty normal for me.  I've had two significant back injuries in the past 10 years, as well as the inflammation that's most likely caused by my food allergies.  I just take a hot shower, and usually that helps me get loosened up for the day.  

I got to work, and I still wasn't feeling that great.  It hurt to walk up the stairs.  I started thinking.  What did I eat this weekend that could have caused this pain?  Right now my focus is on my food, but I couldn't pinpoint eating anything I shouldn't have.   

As the day went by, I was still hurting.  I took some motrin.  It barely touched the pain.  My calves, my quads, and my hamstrings really hurting.  My shoulders were sore.  My arms were weak. What caused this pain?  I felt like I ran a marathon. 

And then it hit me.  

I pulled weeds.

All Sunday morning, I had been going meticulously around the yard. Up and down.  Yanking out all those stubborn weeds.  Squatting down to grab each one.  Using my knees instead of my back, so I wouldn't get injured.  Pulling with all my strength to get out some of those monsters.  

I didn't realize it, but I had given myself a full body workout, without stepping foot in the gym.  I had accomplished a task that desperately needed to be done.  And I "worked out" for hours longer than I would have even spent in the gym.  

According to My Fitness Pal, the average 150lb person will burn this many calories for basic household chores.    

Cooking for 30 minutes - 68 calories
Gardening for 60 minutes - 272 calories
Light housework for 60 minutes - 170 calories
Mowing lawn for 30 minutes - 187
Walking the dog for 30 minutes - 112 
Moving boxes for 30 minutes - 238 calories

So next time you find yourself dreading going to the gym, look around the house and find some chores that need to be done.  I'll bet you will work out longer and harder than if you had just begrudgingly jumped on a treadmill.  

And your chores will be done. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent plan!! Yes, all of that activity counts in a day!! Heck, I could lose like 1000 cals a day if I actually did my dang housework. It's just piled up around me...*sigh*