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Fitting in exercise when you think you have no time--a double bonus

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This is SPRING CLEANING time, right? And you are probably wondering just when you are going to get around to it, considering you never got a fall cleaning in, and perhaps blew right through last spring without doing that thorough cleaning we all learned from our mothers.

If you are thinking, “What does spring cleaning have to do with anything,” you are not alone. People forget that movement of any sort can be exercise and, in this case, it can even be FUN and productive exercise. Without thinking too hard on this one, you could conceivably get all your spring cleaning done in the next two weeks without breaking your schedule or giving it a second t hought. AND, you would be exercising and doing all kinds of good things for your body and mind.

So, how does that all work? It is simple.

  • If all you have is 20 minutes a day to devote to cleaning, then that is your time increment to work within. Make out a schedule, blocking out 20 minutes each day.
  • In 20 minutes, you could vacuum your floors and carpets.
  • In 20 minutes you could clean all your blinds.
  • In 20 minutes, you could dust all the furniture in all your rooms, assuming you don’t live in a McMansion.
  • In 20 minutes, you could clean all your baseboards.
  • In 20 minutes, you could wash a third to half of your windows; then, the next day, wash another third or the other half.
  • In 20 minutes you could set your oven to self-clean, and while that was working, you could clean all the counters in your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • In 20 minutes you could mop your kitchen and bathrooms.
  • In 20 minutes, you could clear out your refrigerator of anything that looks or smells past its prime.
  • In 20 minutes, do the same thing to your stuffed freezer with packages you don't even recognize.
  • In 20 minutes, strip your bed down to the mattress. Open the window and let it air out. In the meantime, wash and store winter bed coverings, and bring out the summer linens.
  • In 20 minutes, clear off your coffee table of anything that does not belong there. While you are at it, clean out your magazine rack.
  • In 20 minutes, clear out your front and back entries of anything that does not belong there.

Right there with this list you have two weeks' worth of spring cleaning all done. What a great feeling! Of course, if you insist on perfection (as our mothers did back in the 1950s and 60s), you will take longer than two weeks. So, try working by the mantra, "Done is better than perfect." If your house is really large, you might need to allow two 20-minute sessions for some of these cleaning tasks, and enlist some family help as well. Just plan and adjust accordingly. (Some spring cleaning tasks may be missing--no problem, just add them in.)

What do you get by all this cleaning? First, you get a clean house in two weeks. Second, you get exercise in by stretching; reaching up and down; working quickly, perhaps to the point of even sweating; and you get a feeling of a double accomplishment—a clean house and exercise.

Who says you can’t fit in exercise?!

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