Housework – a good thing?

by | Sep 24, 2009

Can housework be a good thing?

It just might be!

Allow me to demonstrate with a personal story…

My youngest child has recently begun ‘Big School’ (though it could well be the tiniest Primary school in the country…).

It’s quite a milestone in his life but also, it’s the beginning of an exciting new phase in my life, too.

After ten years of being a full-time stay-at-home work-from-home mummy, I now appear to have my life back (a bit).

To celebrate this new era, I set myself the goal of becoming fit, healthy and the possessor of a beach-body to be proud of.

Now, this is no mean feat.

Though I’m loathed to use the term ‘let myself go’, it’s true that the last decade has seen me sideline my exercise regime in order to meet the demands of the little people.

So, now that I have a little more room in my life, I plan to re-prioritise my fitness and rediscover my Inner Skinny (who I haven’t seen for a while…)

But, I hear you cry, how does this relate to housework?

Well, the trouble with the above plan is that I’m reluctant to give up the things in my life that bring me a great deal of pleasure.

These include the simple things in life, namely: good food, fine wine, R&R.

Not the most obvious criteria for a fitness plan.

However, I believe we are on this planet to have a reasonably good time, so I am not prepared to compromise on my joys.

Although I’d like to look good in a bikini, I’d also like to enjoy my life when I’m not on a beach.

Fitness + Happiness

To resolve this conflict, I have concocted the following programme (based on pure optimism, determination and hope).

But, more relevantly for this blog – it involves housework. Even more relevantly, it enlists housework as a helpful ally!

Here’s how.

My No-Compromise- Have-A-Nice-Figure-AND-A-Life Plan basically consists of :

• Swotting up on nutrition

• Regular shopping to ensure healthy foods always in the house

• Swap shop-bought cakes etc for healthy (but tasty!) home-baked versions

• Eating smaller portions, eating slower & stopping when full

• Eating more fruit, veg, smoothies etc

• Eating more fish and less meat

• Drinking more water

• Having 2 alcohol-free days per week (eek!)

• Yoga once a week (Ahhhh….)

• Bike ride/walk/stairs exercise twice a week

• More movement & activity throughout the day

Did you spot it? Did you spot the bit that will (I believe) help me to not only get my body back in shape but also get my home in order?

Here it is again:

More movement & activity throughout the day

That’s it!

I believe this will play a vital part of regaining my figure (the last 10 years have been pretty sedantry…)

But the beauty of this plan is: one simple way to be more active – on a daily basis – is to take a more positive and proactive role with my housework.

The Housework Workout

Now when I see that the stairs need vacuuming, instead of pretending I hadn’t noticed, I think; “OK, fine. That’s something I can do today to reach my activity goals.”

Plus, I get a job done at the same time!

Can you see the method in my madness?

Instead of claiming I have no time for exercise, and I have no time for all the housework, I combine the two for a fit and fabulous double whammy!

Driven by my new goal of getting in shape, I’m seeing my domestic labours as a useful tool, rather than a depressingly futile chore.

Who would have thought it was possible to see housework in such a positive light?

Not only that – by being more active (not to mention the Feng Shui boost from my improving home), I’m finding increasingly more energy.

Which leaves me more fit and able to pursue what I want, ie to feel fit, well and confident and to dwell in a (reasonably) tidy home.

So there you have it.

Though it’s still early days in my regime, I’m convinced it will work (for me, at least).

Of course, I’m sure there will be days when even the prospect of the scales won’t motivate me mop-wards, I think generally, I’ll be moving in the right direction.

Either way, I’ll keep you posted!

For now, though, my kitchen needs vacuuming and, for once, I’m only too happy to oblige!

NOTE: Just in case you are wondering whether this crazy scheme could work for you, please note I am not in any way qualified to give health and fitness advice.

If necessary, seek further advice from a professional who is qualified in something other than housework avoidance.

Fitness Quote Inspiration

If you are tempted (hooray for you!) but not entirely convinced, check out the free eBook of inspirational fitness quotes, courtesy of the very generous lady at

Here are a few of my favourites:

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in
a person”s physical, emotional, and mental states.”

~ Carol Welch

“The hardest thing about exercise is to start doing it.
Once you are doing exercise regularly, the hardest thing is to stop it.”

~ Erin Gray

“Never hurry. Take plenty of exercise.
Always be cheerful. Take all the sleep you need.
You may expect to be well.”

~ James Freeman Clarke

“Take care of your body,
then the rest will automatically become stronger.”

~ Chuang Tzu

“The greatest wealth is health.”

~ Virgil


Here’s to our homes, health & happiness – simultaneously!

• • • 

As always, I’d love to hear if this works for you.