Weight Loss Tip 2: Gardening & Housework

by Eden Chiuslekuda

(ECCT Natural Health Contributor. For more of her natural health & beauty tips, follow her page, ‘A Corner of Eden’ )

What?!  “You cannot possibly be serious!” is what most of you lucky enough to still be living in Zimbabwe are thinking.  While you are fortunate enough to have the freedom to employ someone to help you with what most of us in the diaspora consider to be basic household chores, the downside is that not doing household chores and garden work may be adding inches to your waistline, year after year.

In the spirit of KISS (remember Keep It Simple, Stupid!), it is wise to focus on making small changes that you are consistent with until they are just an intrinsic part of your lifestyle.  You may at first wonder how these everyday tasks correlate to healthy weight maintenance, but after reviewing the following caloric output figures it will be easy for you to see the connection.  Please bear in mind that these statistics assume a body weight of about 68 kg or 150 lbs.  The figures can be adjusted up or down depending on whether you are heavier or lighter respectively.

  • Loading, stacking or carrying fire wood – 340 calories per hour
  • Digging, spading, filling garden and composting – 340 calories per hour
  • General Gardening – 272 calories per hour
  • Mowing the Lawn – 408 calories per hour with a manual mower and 374 calories per hour with a power mower
  • Washing Dishes – 156 calories per hour
  • Cooking – 136 calories per hour
  • Ironing –  136 calories per hour

Now there you have it.  Your own do it yourself gym, that’s free!  Just 30 minutes to one hour daily of any of these activities will help you burn an extra 500 calories per week. When you add this to the course of the whole year – what a difference that 26 000 calories can make in your waistline.

In addition to keeping you away from time-sucking, non-productive activities like endless hours of TV watching and gossiping, for example, you can actually feel good about accomplishing tasks around the house and garden.  You are more likely to feel connected to and therefore eat veggies and fruit that you have nurtured yourself.  You will be modeling responsible behavior to your kids and teaching them how to take care of themselves and their future households (thus doing your part to curb the obesity epidemic in the next generation) and making a dent in your own healthy weight goals.

Michelle Obama discusses gardening with children

So that is your second weight loss tip for the New Year.  Look out for tip number 3 on portions and proportions on this blog or on the ECCT Facebook page in a few days!

*Pic sources: Nasamba (singer-songwriter) on bigsurspiritgarden.com; educaciontrespuntocero.com; whitehouse.gov

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