If anything on your body needs to be iced after cleaning house, then housework, must be exercise.
Interestingly enough, for as much as I dislike various house chores (not all, but many) if spending two hours cleaning house "counts" as exercise, well then, I feel better about doing it. Inspired even. Sure, I'd rather take a cycling class or go outdoors for a run, but we know that's not always in the cards. Because I am one to procrastinate with cleaning duties, I can easily find something else to do (isn't that what blogging is for?), but now that I've allowed housework to fall into the exercise column... hmmm... I can get worked up over that, so to speak.
Here's the thing, though, housework hasn't always counted as exercise and it may not always get labeled as such. I think it depends on goals. If I'm training for a triathlon or marathon, pretty much all of the exercise I do must support my goal. Housework wouldn't exactly qualify then. But right now, my goal is to exercise five times a week. No small feat, either, as we all know. So for now the doors are flung wide with exercise options.
A few months ago our family had an idyllic outing: my husband and I set out on a walk after dinner, taking turns holding the dog leash, while our girls rode their bikes. It was idyllic because usually we don't eat dinner until 7:30 and have time for nothing else but speeding our way through a bedtime routine. So we walked about two miles, at a decent clip because our girls don't slow down for nobody and when we returned home, I asked my husband, "did this count as a workout for you?" This wasn't fair of me to ask. There was only one answer I wanted to hear. For me, the walk was my workout that day. It was like asking "how do I look" in an outfit I already planned to wear. (By the way, if you haven't already figured this out, always ask open ended questions of your spouse. If you ask a yes/no question, e.g. "does my butt look big," you'll not be satisfied with the pat no, short yes, or worse, uneasy silence that follows.)
His answer? No. At first I felt a little wounded. Our little walk wasn't good enough? Then annoyed. Why couldn't he just lie and say yes and save me from myself? Then frustrated. What--now was I supposed to go do something more challenging? And then, at last acceptance: Oh, right. He's training for a half ironman and I'm not. Reality is not always within my immediate grasp, but I can usually find it fairly fast.
So, these days short walks count. So does housework. I need to take all three girls to the grocery store later today. Jury is still out on that one.
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