Given that yesterday was our Stay At Home day, I decided to take the girls car seats out of the car to wash the covers. Upon removing the Britax Beasts, I discovered they were harboring a small community of broken crayons, cheerios and Kashi granola bar crumb fugitives.
So this morning instead of running past the car wash like I do day after day, I thought my carseat-less vehicle could use a little quality time with the vacuum before I spent a half hour reinstalling the seats.
But without car seats in the car, I couldn’t take the kids with me. Therefore, morning run time was swapped out to pay for serious suction while Zak was around to stay home with the girls.
I could have been that neighbor who’s running her vacuum outside at 7:30 in the morning, but instead I thought we’d just go Fresh’N Up! Doesn’t that sound lovely?
I mean, come on. Who needs to work out when you can play “Beat the Clock” with the car wash vacuum?
I totally used to be that person who’s car was always clean. But then I had kids. While I still always empty the car of items after each car adventure – regular vacuuming has fallen to the way side.
I did find some friends hiding under the seats though.
And I got a little wash woman pay for my services.
Even some GREEN! You mean to tell me there’s been a dollar bill under my seat all this time?
But then I hit the jackpot!
Time to celebrate! I put my car back together and ran off with my winnings to the little store near the car wash to score some bananas. Thank goodness bananas are cheap, I don’t think my rinky dink corner store is able to make change for a $500 bill.
I returned home with a nice and neat car, and very ready for some fruit cereal.
1 diced banana
2 Tbsp ground flax
1/8 c raisins
1 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
Not only is my car NEAT, my morning activity was N E A T too! NEAT as in Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT is basically all the ways you burn calories that doesn’t have anything to do with a “real” work out, or the energy you expend to make your heart beat, digest food, sleep and remember to return library books on time.
From taking the stairs, doing housework, raking leaves for some yardio to secretly hauling things out of the house to donate – you burn calories doing all of these sorts of things and it can definitely add up.
Knowing this can actually make a difference in how many calories you burn. A few years ago there was this remarkable study done by Harvard University where researchers studied 84 female housekeepers at seven different hotels for four weeks. About half of the group of women were told that their housekeeping work can be considered exercise, and the other half were told nothing.
Of the women who were told that their day to day work is part of an active lifestyle, the researchers found that
the informed group had lost an average of 2 pounds, lowered their blood pressure by almost 10 percent, and were significantly healthier as measured by body-fat percentage, body mass index, and waist-to-hip ratio.
The women in the control group had very few changes in body composition in comparison.
So you see, your mindset matters! You can bet your waist-to-hip ratio that I was thinking about how running to and fro between open car doors, flinging car mats around, ducking between seats to dig out pennies, $500 dollar bills and pink ponies was burning calories.
Isn’t that NEAT?