New research regarding the division of housework was reported recently by TODAY Health, and in a nutshell, women are still doing more than half of the domestic work in the home versus men. Plus, big shocker, it’s stressing them out.
Obviously who does what in your house is between you and your spouse. However, if the stats are true, the brunt of that work will land on the woman’s shoulders. If perspective is shifted, perhaps that response of stress can be turned into reward. Yes, there just might be reward in housework and it’s possible to make it enjoyable. As enjoyable as scrubbing a toilet can be, that is.
I live in reality and no forest friends come sauntering in once I begin my cleaning routine. And apparently most Prince Charmings aren’t coming to help dust the shelves either. So, how can there be any reward in picking up after everyone else? I’ll tell you how. You can burn as many calories cleaning the house as you can running the hamster wheel at the gym.
Housework can actually be a great workout. And let’s face it, while you’re on that hamster wheel at the gym you’re probably thinking, “I just need to get home and get things done. The house is such a mess.” Just a quick rundown of what an hour of housework can offer in terms of exercise might surprise you.
- Dusting burns calories at a rate of 175 calories per hour.
- Mopping is 190 calories an hour.
- Washing windows is 180 calories per hour.
Don’t forget what great cardio and strength training running up and down those steps to do the laundry is – you can burn more than 500 calories an hour on those steps. And if you’re going to be carrying your laundry, might as well do a few reps with it while you’re at it.
Bottom line, you really can stay in shape by doing housework, you just might need to get a little more creative with it. Add some squats to your vacuuming routine, use the bathtub ledge like a step-up block and take a few more ups and downs while reaching for the higher sections in the shower. If you have kids, there’s a lot of opportunity for using those up and down muscles while picking up their toys. While it may not seem like it, the reward is that you truly get in a great workout, and who doesn’t feel like they’re receiving a trophy when your skinny jeans slide on with ease?
While there is reward, taking the stress out of cleaning is still possible, too. When Cinderella cleans, she and her animal friends turn it into a musical production. Chances are slim that’s going to happen in your household, but she was onto something with the music. Countless research studies point to music as a fantastic stress reliever. Furthermore, those same studies also say that when stress is reduced, productivity increases. So, pop in some ear buds just like at the gym, and watch the stress melt away.
While the research says the workload for women is uneven and stressful, perhaps with a little creativity this truth can be turned into a win-win-win situation: you get a workout, reduce your stress level, and you also get a clean house.
June 18th, 2012