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Proving That I Would Rather Do Anything Than Exercise

Proving That I Would Rather Do Anything Than Exercise

January 16, 2006

I hate exercise. I really do. I don’t mind exerting myself physically doing something, like shoveling, mowing the lawn, taking a walk outdoors, or eating cookies, but I hate doing something physical that has no other purpose than to burn calories. I can be outside shoveling for an hour, but after three minutes on my treadmill I want to kill myself from sheer boredom.

So, in an effort to need to be more lazy exercise less be more fit, I began looking online to see how many calories I burn in a day and then I could figure out how many I could consume and not gain weight.

But there aren’t any categories for things that I do all day long. I didn’t find answers to my pressing questions.

How many calories does it burn playing the dishwasher game? What’s the dishwasher game? Surely you jest.

The dishwasher game is played when you are loading the dishwasher with dirty dishes from the sink. You rinse the dirty dishes off under the running water while standing on one foot. The other foot is used to hold the baby back from the dishwasher. Periodically you pull the baby off of the open dishwasher door and/or remove fragile or dangerous things from his hands. If nothing gets broken and the baby doesn’t get hurt, you win!

Automatic disqualification occurs if the baby takes off running with a knife. Automatic disqualification and revocation of your ability to play the game ever again occurs if the baby runs off with a knife and you don’t discover it until several hours later when you happen upon a stray knife laying on the floor in a completely different room. Not that this has ever happened to me. Just putting it out there as a warning to those less attentive sort of parents.

Running up and down the stairs burns 472 calories per hour, but what about when you are running up and down the stairs in the context of playing the blind laundry obstacle course hurdle jump?

This is when, carrying your basket filled with laundry, you must jump over strategically placed baby gates and avoid stepping on toys that have been randomly scattered across the floor, all while blinded by the huge laundry basket in front of you blocking your vision. Points are given in this game for not falling over the gates, dropping any laundry, or knocking over small children. Swearing is not allowed, unless you enjoy hearing it repeated by your toddler at the inlaws Thanksgiving dinner table.

Making the bed burns 35 calories, but what about the upper bunk mattress wrestle?

This is the name for changing the sheets on the top bunk bed. You must stand with your legs spread, on tip toes, balancing on the wooden side rails of the bed. In this precarious position you must lift the end of the mattress in the air while simultaneously wrapping the fitted sheet around the corner of the bed. Extra points are given in this one if the child is sick and has vomited in the bed and you don’t get any of it on yourself, or on the child in the lower bunk.

Using these charts I figured out that fifteen minutes of reading burns 13 calories, talking burns 18 calories, (what about yelling, though? surely it requires more exertion), and horse grooming, which really can’t be any more strenuous than grooming a two year old, 70 calories. If I do all the above simultaneously and then sprint around the kitchen table for two minutes, 15 calories, I can then eat one Samoa and one Thin Mint.

I am ordering those Girl Scout cookies and I am going to enjoy every single one.

On the other hand, sleeping burns 60 calories per hour. Clearly the solution is I need to sleep more.

Posted by Chris @ 9:32 am  

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  1. Liz says:

    did someone say Girl Scout cookies? Why hasn’t my door been beaten down yet? I want my tagalongs and I want them now!

  2. Jenni says:

    You forgot the stinky toddler sprint, by which you chase the offending person through the house, sprint with them up the stairs to the changing station, and attempt to change them without losing any of the poop marbles on the carpetting (which is, of course, the perfect shade of brown). You can count it as anaerobic exercise too, since you’ll be holding your breath through it all to avoid inhaling the stench of a person whose diet consists almost completely of drinkable yoghurt and chocolate graham crackers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh the dishwasher game is played at my house too! Only my participant wants to take the dirty silverwear back out and hand it to me to put away. She is confused between loaded and unloading. And there is nothing worse than dirty spoon/fork/knife contents on the toddlers’ hands. yuck.

  4. Lori Ann says:

    wow, I feel good after my loading the dishwasher workout! I just finished doing it!!!
    Great ideas by the way!

  5. owlhaven says:

    An event I’ve been participating in recently is the Staircase Tiptoe. With all muscles tensed you tiptoe down the stairs to meet the baby crawling up. Every move is calculated to keep the baby’s forward momentum going. If you scare the baby she will sit back and pitch backwards down the stairs, which is the thing you are trying to prevent in the first place. Since you can’t believe some kid AGAIN forgot to put up the baby gate, you’re also steaming mad. But it is crucial you disguise the mad-momma face with an inviting smile, or your baby will lean away in consternation and take the dreaded tumble. You win if you get the baby safely off the stairs. Bonus points are given for not throttling the nearest guilty-looking kid immediately afterwards.

  6. Jody says:

    I wonder how many calories are used up when you go room to room picking up toys off the floor…all….day…..long?

    You may eat as many thin mints as you want, as long as you eat them while nursing the baby…..standing up….doing the dishes.

  7. Anne says:

    No wonder I’m fat!!! I only get about 5 hours of sleep a day-that translates to -what? half a cookie?

    Man, life is unfair.

  8. just_christina says:

    we need to figure out how many caloires it burns when we
    1.make lunches for school
    2. make 3 meals a day
    3. play dress up
    4.change diapers
    5.look for the remote
    6 and letting the dog out to go potty..


    we should be so thin shouldnt we?

  9. aka meritt says:

    I don’t know exact numbers but I can tell ya that being a Full Time Mom for 11 years I stayed fit. Loading the dishwasher, running up the stairs and down the stairs for laundry, and just running after kids all day kept me in shape. It’s only in the last year that I returned the workforce that I’ve put 8 pounds on my butt and thighs! BAH HA HA.

    So… keep eating those bon bons and watching those soap operas, cuz you really do stay in good shape when you are chasing after kids and being “Mommy”. ;)

  10. JeepGirl says:

    AAhhh the dishwasher game. I play that one all the time. What a game !!
    Ya, I just love the changing-the-bed game too. Love it Love it Love it.

    Damn listen to me, I need a Latte!!

  11. Jessica says:

    Where or where can I find this information? I need to know how much cals I burn getting up from my desk and going to the printer. Then getting up from my desk and going to the fax machine.

  12. Lisa says:

    OMG - I play almost all of these games. The only good thing I have going for me is that my laundry room is upstairs. This is fantastic and should increase our house value by thousands of dollars. My family and friends thought it was looney that it was upstairs until they had to haul the next laundry basket upstairs. We really burn more than we think, but when I add those couple of beers at the end of the day to, uh, relax me, it starts adding calories.

  13. Heather says:

    I tend to want carbs when a customer at work really lights the fire under my ass! Does walking down 2 flights of stairs to the snack room, and then back up the 2 flights of stairs, instead of the elevator, count towards burning off the junk I can get out of the candy machine? hmmm….

  14. flower.girl says:

    So you mean I will burn more calories going upstairs to get the laundry myself, rather than yelling at the older ones to go get it for me????? lol Yeah, if I did that then someone for sure would follow and forget to close the baby gate!!!!

    Dot, mom to 6

  15. The Daring One says:

    Are those the only GS cookies anyone orders? I just put in my order for those exact cookies. Love em. I’m glad to know what I need to do now to burn them off. Sweet!

  16. Jennifer says:

    what about changing a diaper on screaming, squirming baby? or does that fall under horse grooming?

  17. Meg says:

    Totally not a jokey solution for a change from me! Wear a pedometer. 13,000 steps a day is ideal for continued weight loss and 10,000 is fine for maintaining current weight - I bet you’re moving more than you think you are!

  18. Carmen says:

    Yeah, but your numbers are so much lower than mine. I’ll bet you are half the size of me.

    And, notice, that there was no where to give you a calorie counter for laundry……

  19. Alissa says:

    ah, and my favorite calorie burning game is nursing the mewling infant while changing the 2 year old’s diaper while playing my little pony memory for the 18th time.

    bring on the thin mints

  20. wordgirl says:

    Those new GS cookies are fabulous? Round shortbread with chocolate on one side. And with a glass of milk? Totally addicting.

  21. halloweenlover says:


    Plus, if you sleep more, you have less time to eat, so everyone wins.

    Thanks for the lessons, chris!

    What about chasing a dog down the hall yelling NO NO NO?

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