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The Inside Story about Housework and Exercise

Past research studies have touted housework and gardening as good exercise. However, in a new study (published in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Public Health) from the University of Ulster researchers interviewed 4,563 adults on their exercise habits and those who counted housework in their weekly exercise regimen were heavier than people who chose other forms of exercise. Did the study account for personal execution and pace of housework and gardening?

Keep in a mind that a sedentary lifestyle has been blamed as a trigger for obesity, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and most inflammation-driven illness. Why would this new study claim that housework and gardening should not be considered real exercise? Anything that makes you get up and move is great. Clearly, the implication is that people tend to overestimate the calorie burn of home-based work outs and probably consume more calories. This could be true, but also holds true for those who exercise at the gym and consume more calories than they burn in their Zumba class or running on a treadmill.

Consequently, the issue should not be about burning calories to lose weight, but rather about movement for overall health. Since household chores need to get done and those who garden tend to love this creative hobby, why not combine these mundane movements with the awareness of a workout? In other words: Mind your muscle. And for those who are not motivated to run, cycle, or lift weights, these daily movements are far better than sitting on the couch and delegating the job to a maid or professional gardener. Also, if you exercise aerobically and lift weights, why not do more at home to reap a greater benefit than one hour in the gym?

Let your housework multi-task for you:
For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show

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Content copyright © 2013 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
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