When a person is physically out of shape, it can be tempting to think that they are lazy. However, there are many people who become overweight simply because they don’t have the time to exercise on a regular basis. Some people are so busy that it is very hard to set aside time for a purpose-specific activity like exercise. If you are one of those people, this article is for you.
Today, we will discuss ways in which you can turn your everyday activities into a workout. So you’ve got a lot of stuff to do around the house? No problem! If you do things right, you can get a workout while accomplishing your work at the same time. Not only that, but you are likely to get more work done in a shorter amount of time.
Let’s consider some basic concepts before we get into the specifics.
Consider Supplements Or Caffeine
Most fitness enthusiasts use supplements to one extent or another. For some, it might be as simple as a cup of coffee with a scoop of creatine powder. If you’re going to use your household tasks as a workout, you should prepare yourself accordingly. Most supplements need to be taken at least 15-30 minutes before working out, so give yourself a slight time gap in your schedule.
Creatine, which we already mentioned, is great for this purpose. It gives you energy without being a stimulant. It works by taking your body’s stored energy (ADP, or adenosine triphosphate) and converting it into active energy that can be used right away. That energy is called ATP, and it is the primary energy currency of the human body and all other forms of life. It is the most basic form of biological energy, and creatine causes your body to produce more of it.
Caffeine isn’t a bad option, either. While it can be harmful in large amounts, a little bit of caffeine before a workout of this type can be very helpful. Caffeine does generally help people to do more work in a shorter amount of time, increasing both physical energy and mental alertness. Of course, caffeine is a stimulant, and all stimulants will cause a “crash” when their effects wear off.
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Put On Some Good Music
Nothing helps with motivation like some good music. Choose whatever style of music you like, but stick to the kind of music that makes you feel active. If it makes you feel like dancing or fighting, it will probably help you feel like working.
This may be common knowledge, but it has been scientifically proven as well. This study found that background music could increase productivity in a work setting, even when loud machines were being used.
Try To Multi-Task
When doing any workout, you try to push yourself and see just how much you can do. This same concept can be applied to any sort of work. One way to do this is through the use of multi-tasking. For instance, you might wash the dishes, and then mow the grass while they dry. Whenever you have an opportunity to multi-task, make sure you take it.
Keep Up Your Momentum
As another example, let’s say you need to paint the bedroom. While the paint is drying, you can clean off your hands and do something else. Maybe you have dogs or other pets that need to be tended, or maybe you need to fix that broken shelf in the garage. Regardless of the task, keep yourself moving forward at all times. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, so don’t stop to relax until you’re done!
For a start, let’s think about which daily activities burn the most calories. For some help on that, we turn to this study from Harvard. They measured the caloric burn rates of their test subjects when doing common exercises and daily activities alike. Here are some of the numbers that they got:
- Raking the lawn: 120-178 calories
- General gardening: 135-200 calories
- Mowing the lawn: 135-200 calories
- Cutting and stacking firewood: 180-266 calories
- Digging with a shovel: 150-222 calories
- Shoveling snow: 180-266
- Cooking: 75-111 calories
- Child care: 105-155 calories
- Food shopping: 105-155 calories
- Unpacking after moving: 105-155 calories
- Playing with children (moderate effort): 120-178
- Playing with children (high effort): 150-222
- Washing the car: 135-200 calories
- Moving furniture: 180-266 calories
- Auto repair: 90-133 calories
These numbers show the amount of calories burned in a half-hour of continuous activity. We recommend that you study the full list (given in the link above) to get a better idea of how many calories you can expect to burn.
How To Use This Knowledge
Using this knowledge is very simple. Think about the tasks that you plan to accomplish today, and take a look at their caloric values on the list. If the task is not listed, find the closest equivalent that you can. Use the high-exertion activities as your serious workout and use the low-exertion activities as your rest times. In this way, you can keep from burning yourself out. This will allow you to get a full day’s work done without being too wiped out at the end.
As a general rule, any difficult activity can be used as training. Whatever your sport or discipline, your training probably involves doing difficult activities that get progressively more difficult as your abilities and skills improve. Thus, it really does make a lot of sense to incorporate a training mindset into your everyday work.
It would be hard to deny that you will also work faster when you think of your housework as exercise, enabling you to pack more tasks in a single day. Best of all, you will be able to fully enjoy your rest days, knowing that all the crucial work is already finished.
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