A couple of years ago, I was trying to place the entire fitness industry on the arc of feminism, with my friend whos an aerobics teacher. What does it mean, if were all dropping a load of time and money trying to hone our glutes? Is it straight objectification? (Must look better to fit societys view of female form! Must be best self to maximise market value in a neoliberal frame!) Or is it a story of emancipation and strength? (I dont need a man I can push over a car using only my thighs.) She said, Youre partly looking at an aerobics class full of women who no longer do their own housework. The amount of physical activity is the same in a class, its just that nothing gets any cleaner. So really it was more of a Marxist question than a feminist one, but never mind that now.
What Ive been ruminating on recently is the question: is the amount of energy you expend cleaning the same as an aerobics class? Well, one: only if you plan it to be. Two: there will be gaps in the workout, but you can fill those with bodyweight bolt-ons. Three: cleaning demands craves music, because it otherwise drops to a sedate pace. Id even suggest making some 20-minute 160BPM playlists. (Ive got a musicals playlist, and everyone hates it: my mister because he hates musicals, the children because they say every time they hear The Greatest Showman, they know Im going to be in a really self-righteous mood. This doesnt deter me, as I am possessed by my own righteousness.)
Oh, and it helps if you have stairs. Do five minutes in four different rooms, rather than one room at a time, and run the length of your stairs between each one. If you live in chaos, you can get a decent cardio-only workout just by tidying, moving things at speed off the floor of one room and into a drawer in another. Hoovering, mopping, even dusting will all do something for your arms, but if you want to reach your legs, you need to concentrate on your posture, turn graceless leaning into lunges.
Dont fixate on the dirt, is my advice. Im with Adam Smith on this: even if you get it all done, itll be back again tomorrow. I have never engaged in any domestic activity that did anything for my core; so tack a plank on to the end.
Stationary activities chopping, stirring, hell, maybe you sometimes do polishing can be beefed up with resistance bands, then you can do leg extensions (note: not if youre sitting down). Ive tried this but I cant cut a carrot and extend my leg at the same time. People on the internet swear by it, though.
Give up on dreams of measurement and progress: youre not going to become an elite vacuumer. Youre just trying to kill two birds with one stone, and maybe in the process gain a bit of enthusiasm for both birds. But I read yesterday that the reason none of us is completing our grand lockdown plans is that all projects need a future to project into; so its possible that some living-in-the-moment fitness will suit the mood of the times.
Calories-per-minute estimates for most activities are online, but are pretty bogus. If unmeasurability is destroying your morale, get a Fitbit and set a raised-heartbeat target.
Go here to read the rest:
Fit in my 40s: is cleaning as good as a fitness class? There's one way to find out - The Guardian