Exercise means going for a run, or lifting intensely heavy weights at the gym.
Not necessarily. The current recommendations for exercise are based off of Americans’ sedentary lifestyle: sitting in an office, then sitting at home on the couch all evening.
I’m a huge proponent of walking/biking to your errands—post office, grocery store, etc—not only because it’s ‘green’ but also because it helps you sneak in some extra calorie-burning. You’re doing what your body was meant to do, walk to get you where you need to go!
That’s not the only thing that counts, though.
Studies have proven that people who do more housework are slimmer than people who do not. And people whose only daily activity involves going to the gym, but then sit the rest of the day, are heavier than those who do not go to the gym but are active all day long.
All that sweeping, dusting, laundry, vacuuming, gardening, window-washing adds up to your daily caloric expenditure.
Walking out of your car and into the bank instead of going through the drive-thu? It counts.
Yes, parking in the far corner of the parking lot when you do drive to the market? It counts.
Making an individual trip for each armful of laundry? It counts.
Any time you could be sitting down—on the couch, in the car—then opt not to in favor of movement. It counts.
Now, that doesn’t mean “don’t go to the gym.” What it means, is that when you *do* go to the gym, don’t use it as an excuse to sit around the rest of the day.
Remember the humans in Wall-E? They were sitting around in chairs that took them where they needed to go, and how fat they were? Our bodies are *not* meant to sit all day (proof? rampant chronic back pain). Your body—yes, YOURS!—has a deep desire to stand, to move those legs, to reach, to carry.
So, go wash those dishes. You’ll do your body good.