I know many of us fondly remember that quote from The Karate Kid when Mr. Miyagi started to train Daniel San to be the karate champion. At first, Daniel could not understand how waxing a lot full of cars; painting a very long fence; sanding a deck; and painting a house with very specific arm movements was going to teach him about martial arts. Little did Daniel San know that the basic motions from completing these chores strengthened his muscles so his body could master the more advanced karate moves.
As I was cleaning my house this past week, I put on an 80’s radio station and started to think about how much of a genius Mr. Miyagi was for coming up with a training program that centered around getting shit done. As I was working and getting into the music, I stepped up my energy. As I progressed through each room, I started to feel my arm and leg muscles burn while I had a pretty good sweat going on. It took about 2 hours to clean my bathrooms, kitchen, and floors. I tried to use my left hand when I could to prevent my body from looking lopsided. Not only was I able to carry out the undesirable task of cleaning the house, but I also had a great workout.
I hear many people tell me they do not have time to fit exercise into their routines. I also hear many people complain about having to spend time on maintaining their home. If we start thinking of getting our chores done as the workout, we could have the benefits of a great cardiovascular and muscle-building training session while knocking off tasks on our ever-growing to-do list.
I am not saying that housecleaning and yard work should be our only form of exercise. However, when our schedules are tight with the zillions of issues we deal with in a given day, we can use all of the help we can get when we combine our workouts with things we have to do anyway. It is always a good thing when we kill two birds with one stone!