Getting Busy While Staying Home On The Florida Suncoast

Dear Diary: Day 937…My teenagers only social contact has been with me and it has driven me mad. I am now drawing miniscule tributes to all the places I used to visit on each sheet of my vast loads of toilet paper. It is a good thing I bought the two-ply.

Like many, I tend to pepper life with humor, especially the tough parts. As such, I thought we could talk about what you all are doing to fight boredom while on lockdown. If you are at all like me, you have epitomized those memes showing people eating all their hurricane food days ahead of the impending storm. At the infancy stages of our quarantine, it was somehow implied to everyone in my household, I guess by me, that eating our way through it was the only conceivable path. We made pizzas that were adorned with our favorite toppings, baked bunny-shaped cakes with cute little tails made from extra frosting and sprinkles and added in an entire Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of Corona-virus March. Phew, I’m almost thinking a root beer float would go good with all of that. Maybe later. There is time.

When the “15 Day” suggestion came out, we were already a week into Spring Break, so pretty much we weren’t eating or exercising in an exemplary fashion anyhow. It was at about Day 5 of the quarantine that I figured I might be gaining about a pound a day. Doing the math, well, something needed to be done. I decided to shift focus from what I was eating to what I was doing, hoping the scales (no pun) would tip toward increased movement. As it turns out, the plan was successful, minus a few bowls of chips and dip along the way. After all, a girl must have her carbs in the face of a crisis.

I’m sure many of you are engaged in similar activities as us, which undoubtedly includes plenty of household projects we’ve all been putting off. Did you know that many of the chores we do around our homes are posers for legitimate exercise? For me it was a dim light bulb illuminating what I already knew, which is: Calories in versus calories expended is a pretty big deal.

House-painting: Did you know that you burn an average of 222 calories an hour if you are a person who weighs 200 pounds while painting the exterior of your home? That’s a pretty good workout considering the ancillary benefits. Quarantine has forced me to come face-to-face with painting my own house, a project I have willfully ignored for nearly a year. Despite having chosen the color, a painstaking decision, and purchasing the supplies nearly a year ago, I had become good at ignoring my fading house. The good news is it now looks great, freshly painted and inviting, too, which is nice since I’m stuck here and look at it a lot. I figure I have burned approximately 10,000 calories throughout this painting process, which is roughly what was consumed on days one through two of lockdown.

Raking: So, I can’t really take credit for this one because I made my impetuous teenager do this task, but raking is an exercise game-changer. (The thing is if he would have stopped talking back, he probably would have gotten out of it, but that isn’t entirely relevant to this article.) What is important is that raking burns about 250 calories an hour for a 150-pound person. So, you get a clean yard, fresh air which is appropriate for an equally fresh teenager, and you can burn the calories right along with the leaves.

Couch-sitting: Believe it or not, a lot more than weight can be gained from sitting on the couch. Eating bacon with your family watching The Office for six hours straight has a ton of value. First off, is there any cuter couple out there than Pam and Jim? And you know you want to visit Schrute Beet Farms, at least I do. Getting comfy with your kiddos is an extra-special “perk” of being stuck at home. Yes, I know they are generally in a state of desperation to get back to their rooms so they can join friends in virtual land. But for brief moments, they are our little captives, who must give in to couch cuddles no matter the age. That, for me, has been the biggest “aha” moment of this ordeal, that there is always time for sweetness with your family. Plus, you burn about 60 calories an hour by being a couch potato, so there is that, too.

Photos courtesy of I Hate Housework Facebook page.

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2020-03-31