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By Victoria Alwin
MSRD 

'Accidental' exercise

Nutrition Corner

 


For some of us, any time we exercise it has to be accident, because we definitely wouldn’t do it on purpose! Contrary to this thought, is the actual concept called “accidental exercise.” I heard about this on a news program and found it interesting.

Bottom line: our modern conveniences and step-saving mindset are literally adding to our bottoms and lines. Think about it: Obesity has always been with us, but not to the current extent. Many of our grandparents and great grandparents might have been heavy, but it was more due to cooking and eating overly well than not moving.

Accidental exercise seems to be about making your life harder, less convenient and loving it (more or less.) One example might be washing the floors. These days you have a choice between old fashioned string or sponge mops, microfiber cloths on handles, steamer cleaners and electric floor scrubbers. All of the devices are great, but have you ever seen a fat mop? A steamer cleaner with high blood pressure? Of course not because they do all of the work. In the “old days,” folks went down on their hands and knees to scrub the floor. Yes, it takes longer but think of ALL of the muscles you use in your arms, shoulders, waist, butt and legs. For some of us, getting down on the floor and getting up again in the same day, without doing anything else, is a good overall exercise. Actually taking a scrub brush and soapy water in a bucket (preferably one with wheels if you want a break) adds even more movement and feelings of accomplishment. Also, it will clean your floors better than anything else.

Have stairs in the house or a washer in the basement? Contrary to common sense and the urge to make fewer trips up and down, intentionally make many, smaller trips. Another good thing about smaller, lighter trips up and down the stairs is that your back, shoulders and knees will love the additional movement without the additional stress from the heavier loads you normally carry. Remember, if you are overweight and/ or out of shape, your body weight alone contributes to the activity, either wanted or not. If you have the opportunity to hang your wash outside, you not only get more “accidental exercise,” but you also get great smelling laundry without adding chemicals and less electrical expense.

Need to dust something up high? Instead of getting a long-handled duster, get a stable step stool or ladder (no chairs, please) and CARFULLY step up and reach up. Remember the spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them. Or at least they’re smaller.

For some people, increasing the activity means getting up to the level of what other folks are already doing. Yes, I actually know people who will drive the SHORT distance from the house to their mail box. Cars aren’t fat either. Whenever you can, walk instead of drive.

Using it hurts less than losing it.

 
 

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