Fitness is a concept that has been blown out of proportion by the media. Everywhere you go, the pressures of having a great athletic physique haunt you like a ghost! The result? Daily bouts of frustration in front of the bathroom mirror.
But here’s the truth: you are actually way fitter than you give yourself credit for. Probably as fit as that marathon-running colleague or that gym fanatic friend! And the secret to your fitness lies in the everyday tasks that you carry out.
If you can perform all of the following mundane chores with ease, consider yourself much fitter than you imagined yourself to be!
1. Carry Your Everyday Bag Without Breaking A Sweat
Lifting a 5-kilo dumbbell may seem like a lot in theory, but if you check the weight of your everyday bag (or bags, if you lug around more than one), you’d realize that you carry that much weight anyway. And to think, you can actually bear that much weight on your shoulders every day while commuting! That’s one neat little workout right there.
2. Hop In And Out Of A Car Easily
If you experience no pain when you get in and out of the car, you are probably as fit as a fiddle. You see, the lower the car seat is, the more effort you need to make in order to get in and out of it. It’s simple; when you enter or exit a lower car, you perform a set of squats. And the lower your car is, the higher the intensity of the squats! It takes strong knees to do this without pain (1).
3. Stand Without Shifting Your Weight
Can you stand in a line without shifting your body weight on one leg or the other every few minutes? That’s a sign of true fitness. The better part of most of our days is spent sitting, so standing and straightening up can cause some pain. This generally happens due to the chronic stiffness of the hips (2). However, if you don’t experience that, coupled with lower back pain or the need to shift your weight, you’re solid.
4. Handle Your Traveling Bags On Your Own
You need some seriously well-toned muscles to be able to store your bag in the overhead space, put it on the baggage line before boarding or even reclaim your suitcases from the airport carousel after landing at your destination. If these sound like things you can do effortlessly, you needn’t worry about your fitness.
5. Shop And Still Not Drop
If ‘shop till you drop’ is something that doesn’t apply to you, your fitness levels are at its peak! Everything about shopping – whether it’s pushing a well-stocked cart or carrying your shopping bags from the mall to the car and then from the car to the kitchen – can be taxing. But if you can do this without getting tired, you know what it means.
6. Work Effortlessly In A Crowded Kitchen
A crowded kitchen is equivalent to having very less space to work with. This can lead to minor accidents since there will be plenty of obstructions in the form of kitchen items that can come in your way. However, if you can work your way around it without getting injured, it shows that you have brilliant hand-eye coordination. And isn’t that a part of overall strength and fitness (3)?
7. Climb Down The Stairs With Weight In Hand
Being steady on your feet is what it takes to effortlessly glide through within (and outside) your house (4). Younger people generally have better balance as compared to older individuals. That said, climbing down the stairs with, say, a laundry basket in your hand shows that you are strong on your feet and have good coordination as well as muscle strength! (If you didn’t ultimately end up on the floor with a broken hip, that is.)
8. Balancing Your Child On Your Hip
This is again related to the whole idea of weight-lifting. An average 3-year-old child weighs around 30 pounds or 13 kilograms. And, when you lift the kid up and balance them on your hip, you’re in essence lifting up a 45-pound dumbbell. If you can do that without uttering an “ouch,” no one can call you unfit!
9. Playing With Your Kids At The Playground
Playground activities not only help kids grow and become stronger, they also help the parents in getting some much-needed exercise too. Activities like lifting your child to help them hold on to the monkey bars or climbing on the balance beam along with them, all require cardiovascular strength as well as balance. And if you have that, do you really need the gym to stay fit?
If you can do at least 6 or 7 of the chores listed here, without exerting yourself much, you can safely call yourself ‘fit.’ Just remember to keep on taking good care of that body and mind, and you’re sorted!