The Housewife’s Tricks to Burning a Few Extra

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.)


9 responses to “The Housewife’s Tricks to Burning a Few Extra

  1. I am going to do it. I am going toget a pedometer.

    great post.

  2. These are great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Brilliant! I used to use my pedometer all the time, but I kind of forgot about it. Well, not kind of, I totally forgot. Thanks for the reminder and the great advice!

  4. Lots of great ideas !!! I have never been able to get a good pedometer that really counted steps and didn’t count every little twitch.

  5. These are awesome ideas! Thanks!

  6. I loved this. I’ve been trying to do more stuff with my kids too – instead of just saying, “Mommy will watch you.” Jump on the tramp, dance WITH them, go on bike rides with them – all fun stuff that ends up meaning you are more active AND being a good parent at the same time, bonus!

  7. I have tried some of these ideas. The trick is to think of the least efficient way to do household chores, which is much easier to do now that I don’t have four kids around. My grandson, whom I take care of 3 days a week, is just learning to crawl, so I plan to be active with him.

  8. One of the things my mom taught me was to always try to do several things everytime you had to walk through the house in order to save steps and time. But you know what? My mom was fat too!

  9. After baby number three came along (just thirteen months after baby number 2) I implemented Family Dance Time. I do it a couple of times a week in the afternoon before Daddy gets home and just before or maybe during making dinner. My oldest twirls and jumps to her hearts content while I hold Number Two and spin and do little squats. It’s great family time AND a good ten minute work out. As an added bonus, who can be grumpy while twirling to KT Tunstall? Not me and not the kids.

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