Women Need to Exercise 1 Hour Per Day to Maintain

-Like us moms don’t already have enough to do.

iStock_000009004459XSmallA study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association claims that women will gain weight with age unless they lower their caloric intake or get in a hefty 6o MINUTES of exercise EACH DAY!  Are they serious? Workout 60 minutes to maintain?  Let’s talk about the word maintain, because they’re certainly not talking about sanity maybe they’re talking about resentment.  I will definitely maintain resentment toward these researchers for publishing this horrifying news.

The truth is, I know few moms who can get in a daily shower, let alone the current 30 minutes of suggested workout time; now they’ve decided to double it?  That’s it, I’m boycotting.  Oh yeah, I’ll show them, I’m gonna halt activity all together.  Yep, I’ll lead a completely sedentary life; only frequenting places that have valet and those electric carts inside, to ride on.   When I’m home, I’ll call on my children to do everything from bring momma a glass of water to turn the channel on the TV, (that’s right, I won’t even push a button on a remote.)  Not only that, but I’m going to eat whatever I like.  Well, technically I’ll eat whatever my children are willing to bring me, but I’ll request buckets of straight lard, I mean McDonalds at every meal.  That’ll teach the American Medical Association to ask moms to do more than they’re already doing.  Who’s with me?

We’ll all be stuck on our couches, with our lap tables and our hats that hold soda cans and straws connected to them.  Who’ll take care of the world then?  Hmmm?  I guess the researches at the AMA.

No? Not on board?  Was it the soda can hats?  Too WT?  Fine, I’ll give you a few tips on how to turn everyday activities, that you have to do anyway, into workouts, but I really liked my first idea.

1.       Set a cleaning timer and do a POWER clean. Don’t think I’m crazy, I do this often.  Give yourself a certain amount of time to straighten the house.  You know, make beds, run laundry, do dishes, wipe counters, and vacuum.  Pretend someone is on their way over unannounced.  I usually go for 20 to 30 minutes.  Just know that whatever time you set has to be less than what it SHOULD take you to do.  Blare some music and clean your butt off, literally.  You will actually work up a sweat, which in my opinion constitutes a workout.  That could be half the work right there.  Don’t believe me, here are some facts to back me up, based on an average 130 lb female…

Vacuuming for 20 minutes burns 47 cal.

Making Beds for 20 minutes burns 40 cal.

Light dusting and straightening for 20 minutes burns 69 cal.

Ironing for 20 minutes burns 45 cal.

Doing Laundry for 20 minutes burns 40 cal.

Let me tell you, after I started working and did less cleaning, I gained weight and my cleaning lady got skinny.

2. Garden . Your house will look better and so will you.  This is great for your upper body and if you keep your core tight throughout, it will work your abs as well and do kegals… always do kegals.

Weeding 20 minutes burns 120 calories

Planting, pruning mixing dirt etc. for 20 minutes burns 80 calories

If you don’t have a green thumb, plant anyway.  When stuff dies, it’s another workout for you.

3.      Walk your dog. If you don’t have a dog, borrow someone else’s.  A brisk walk with the dog for 20 minutes will calm the canine and burn a quick 75 cal.  Plus they say time with a pet is calming, though “they” have clearly never met my pet.

4.       Walk your baby. Same as above.  Use a jogger if available and go at a good pace.  If your child naps in the stroller, throw on your iPod and enjoy the fresh air.  They don’t say time with a baby is calming, but it’s lots of other wonderful things.

5. Have a Wii  Tournament. Here’s a great way to have a family activity and workout at the same time.  My favorite is Dance Dance Revolution, but even Guitar Hero works your forearms, especially when you do windmills.

6.        Save the Environment… ride a bike. If you live near a coffee shop, pharmacy, bank, or anywhere else you can run an errand, without having to take a lot with you, try riding there.  I have a buggy for my daughter that hooks on the back.  She loves when I chauffeur her to school in it; we pull into the carpool lane and giggle.

Well, that’s all I got.  PS writing burns a mere 25 cal. in 20 minutes.  I’m going to have to hire a stenographer to take notes while I jam out to some Jane Fonda or something.  For more info on how many cal. you burn doing random activities, check out http://www.livestrong.com -You can put in your exact weight

21 thoughts on “Women Need to Exercise 1 Hour Per Day to Maintain

  1. Alison

    Queen of multi-tasking! I love it! Great thoughts, ideas, and more importantly incorporating our everyday chores into the routine. Thanks Jenny, for helping us maintain a healthy lifestyle while living our lives!

    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Alison, Frank and Bari Thank you thank you. Carol- careful, keep comparing me to Erma Bombeck and I’ll be your best friend! Cherie- that will only burn enough calories if you come down with a bladder infection :). Lisa, don’t be such a tease 🙂 SmillingGreen I will post pics, it is truly sad, yet necessary. Hoolia, sounds like you are getting your share of work outs. Babylove, couldn’t be cheesier than mine… I’ll check it out and still do nothing around the house. HEHEHEHEHe

  2. cherie

    Great article. I guess that’s why I can’t lose weight…not enough exercise. How much exercise do I get from walking back and forth all day long from my desk to someone elses office or running to the bathroom (which is a far way from my desk). How many steps do I need to do to burn any calories? I need help!!

  3. Carol Tice

    Thanks for another much-needed morning laugh…I saw that study, too. And I’m old enough that I can tell you it’s probably true!

    Keep ’em comin! You are the Erma Bombeck of the 21st Century and we need your help!

    Shabbat shalom —


  4. Bari

    Bravo Jenny,

    You are hereby awarded the time -management and efficiency awards! It’s a call to arms for women everywhere! Get off the sofa and incorporate movement into every necessary deed in your lives. What? Women already do that? Well, certainly not as creatively as you!
    Bravo and Cudos!

  5. Lisa Cunningham

    Another hilarious Jenny column! Kudos!

    My mom had three of us under the age of 4 back in the day. She stayed thin until we went to kindergarten. All that running after toddlers should be an Olympics event.

    My thyroid went south when I was 33, so I don’t have to worry about this. I have an artificial metabolism. Nah, nah, nah, nah!

  6. hoolia

    As a stay at home mom of a 3 year old and a 7 month old, I’m exhausted at the end of the day. The laundry seems to reproduce right before my very eyes and the kitchen seems to grow dirty dishes. The floor seems to get filthy after every broom stroke. Not to mention the exertion of chasing after my 3 year old and carrying around my 16lb 7 month old.

  7. rachy

    that’s right, jenny, doing housework, or even just keeping up with the kids, will burn calories. i say running after a 3-yr. old who doesn’t want you to hold her/his hand will burn more calories than going to the gym!

    since i don’t have little kids to chance after (somehow they suddenly turned 18 and 20), i go for #6. we have nice bike lanes here in cambridge, ma and i can ride all the way into work (well, at least when the weather is nice).

  8. Mark

    Jenny- so funny, very nice post….to your respone, “I’ll get right on that”…

    In my book, that is the line of the year so far! Last years’ winner, according to me was on a rant in repsonse to all the smart phones coming out and all she had was an older Nokia, and said “well, bite my cell’s phone’s ass already!”

    I saw huge humor in that and so way to jump to #1 with a bullet!


    1. Jenny from the blog Post author

      Rachy- try it in bad weather too, I bet you’ll burn more calories freezing you butt off. Mark- Awww shucks, I am honored. Kim- I care more about your cellulite than most people do… no matter what they tell you!

  9. Sylvie

    You know it’s bad when you play Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games on Wii and you can barely make it through the race. My arms are still sore as I type. So I highly recommend that game for upper arm workouts. I am hoping lugging countless laundry baskets up and down the stairs burns extra calories. Hope you are all well.

  10. ecoachdeni

    Well, well, well. I can tell you, it’s not how long, but WHAT you’re doing. Example. Yesterday I wore my heart rate monitor during my workout, fixing (myself) a good breakfast and eating. I burned 455 calories!

    Here’s the breakdown: 300 on my workout, 90 calories fixing breakfast, 65 calories eating.

    Okay…I weigh 125, which means I’d (typically) burn less calories doing something than someone else, right? (Trust me.) BUT, because of the TYPE of workout I did, I burned more calories longer! Woo-hoo!

    Imagine, 90 calories fixing breakfast. That’s almost twice as much as the 130lb person vacuuming for 20 mintues! I win!

    So, if you take that same 20 minutes and do interval training, you too can burn baby burn…..for hours! Let me know if you want details.


  11. Leslie Todd

    I saw that report too. Gee, I can’t even do 30 minutes a day, much less an hour.

    I too am old enough to say it’s probably true. Up until age 36 when I had my baby, I exercised two hours a day, or more since I also competed. My resting heart rate was 30 and I never gained weight. After baby-practically no exercise. Needless to say, my heart rate is 70 and I am 20 pounds heavier.

    I’m going to shoot for 30 minutes a day and see how it goes.

  12. Melanie Mitchell

    And there is no reason why you cannot look great while you are cleaning, walking dogs and gardening. Check out poppysports.com! I love the comments above and it’s true that just moving is exercise and anything goes when you have small children! I invested in a bike trailer and trained for a triathlon pulling my little girl behind me. When I took the trailer off for the race, I felt like I was flying!

  13. Renea Hambrecht

    I Love doing my bodybuilding exercise in the morning . It gives me energy throughout the day. If my workouts were highly intense, I feel great all day long.


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