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Healthy body – tidy house

According to a survey from the Discovery Channel, the average British woman spends 2 hours and 23 minutes on housework every day.

Yes every day. Not every week.  Who are these average persons? And while we are on the subject why are these domestic workers all women? 

But for all of you parents, mums AND dads looking around the tired post-festivities house and feeling an overwhelming need to tidy things up – even if it’s just straightening a cushion and putting a few toys back in a toy box, there’s good news. Housework makes you fit.

No, honestly! Here’s a quick guide to how wielding the feather duster can cook the calories –

  1. For Muscle Strength, try the routine jobs of lifting baskets of laundry or getting the hoover up the stairs. But careful with the lifting – a bad back curtails the fitness regime.

  2. For Muscle Endurance, let us recommend a spot of ironing – all those repetitions.

  3. Hoovering is the way to Cardio-Respiratory Health. You can burn 193 calories through an hour’s worth of vacuum cleaner piloting. Though to be fair you’d have to have a big house to spend an hour hovering.  And for those of you on two levels, it’s reassuring to know as you run up the stairs for the 37th time that day that an hour of stair climbing uses a whopping 516 calories. That’s four slices of bacon or a cream cheese bagel.

  4. Flexibility comes from all the stretching - dusting,  picking up toys off the floor, cleaning windows, picking up toys of the floor, tidying, picking up toys off the floor …

  5. And Endurance?  Endurance comes from the very fact of being a parent of a small child.  Every day is a sort of a marathon emotionally as well as physically. And getting to the end of the day is as satisfying as completing the Tour de France.

Let’s add into that list, the mental benefits that many report from the satisfaction of having a clean house and the benefits of housework start to look pretty good. And If you get carried away by the housework and forget for a moment that toddler nosing about in the kitchen, it’s good to know your cleaning products can be protected by the addition of Bitrex-the bitterest substance in the world.

So good it’s worth sitting down for a minute to consider all the advantages. Perhaps just take a magazine out to think about all those calories you could lose. Then maybe just switch on the TV for a minute before starting…