Housework and Health

I’m sort of surprised that a study was actually undertaken to prove this point, but people who do not do houswork are less active than those who do. Taking away a cause for screams of sexism, I’m also certain this applies to people who don’t mow their own lawns, shovel their own snow, or paint their own houses.

I live in the suburbs and am regularly amazed at the people I know who stress about getting to the gym each day, meanwhile leaving their cleaning to a housecleaning service, their lawns to a lawn mowing service, their meal prep to take out or personal chefs … What is left to do with their time?

Some of them spend more time at work. Some of them devote their leisure time to volunteer work. All of that is excellent. But. What if they parked farther from the grocery store, did their own grocery shopping, and loaded their own groceries into their own cars? Wouldn’t that, combined with doing some laundry, a bit of cooking, and a bit of cleaning, be enough so that the gym wouldn’t need to be a daily outing?

I’ve had a lot of time to think about this because until recently, I was pretty much happy to just walk around due to steroid-resistant asthma that was poorly controlled. As I’ve felt better, I’ve been doing more. Not by leaps and bounds, but surely and steadily. It’s made a tremendous difference.

I’m convinced that in the long run, vigorous exercise is the ideal, but whatever you can do is not an effort made in vain. For me? I’ll stick to doing the housework. My husband will stick to mowing the lawn. With our schedules, it’s about the best exercise we get – and it brings a lot of personal satisfaction.

Article in the New York Times


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