Last spring I participated in a Woman’s Day Fitness Challenge. They sent me a free pedometer. The idea was to wear it and make sure you took at least 10,000 steps a day. Easy, I thought. Five kids, 1 husband, 3 upstairs bedrooms, 1 basement laundry room, 4 tons of laundry = plenty of steps.
True, I go up and down those stairs again and again, and I once logged a thousand steps just serving lunch to my three youngest–fridge, counter, sink, highchair, table, fridge, pantry, sink….. But I actually found I had to make an effort to hit that 10,000. So I started adding steps and it became a little game to see how many I could take in a day.
A bit of cha-cha-cha while brushing my teeth. March, march, march while on the phone. I just sat down downstairs and feel the need for the hand lotion that’s upstairs? I’ll get it. See a sock on the floor? I’ll walk all the way downstairs to put it away. Step-kick while indulging a certain child in an extended session of “Just do what I said,” “whine, whine, whine,” “Just do what I said…”
I read you have to burn about 3,500 calories to lose a pound. So a hundred extra calories a day can add up to almost a pound a month. And the recommended 20 minutes of activity each day can come in little spurts. So in the spirit of adding steps, here are my favorite housewife tricks for burning those few extra each day:
* Pace, step, or cha-cha when on the phone, brushing teeth, folding laundry, whatever.
* Do a squat to retrieve each item from the dryer. Squat, grab, stand, fold, squat…
* Roll a dishtowel into a cushion under your palms and do little standing pushups against the corner of the kitchen counter while chit-chatting with children.
* Drink fresca. Once the kids are in bed and you’re feeling the need for some indulgence, pour yourself a nice, tall, icy glass of fruity Fresca. My favorite is black cherry. It’s delish and it sours your mouth for chocolate.
* Next time you send the kids out to play in the yard, follow them a throw a few hoops, swing, or whatever. (Maybe you do enough kegels that you could even jump on the tramp without needing a wardrobe change.)