Like many of you, I am counting steps in an effort to get fit. And, as many of you know, managing the recommended 10,000 steps per day can really be a chore. But, hey, we're all in this together, so I am happy to share my training plan with you. I call it ADHD - the Attention Deficit Housework Decathalon.
Here's how it works:
Get up in the a.m. Leave your step-counting device on your bedside table.
Proceed with your morning routine, in and out of the bathroom. Return to the bedroom. Put on your bathrobe and slippers. Make your way downstairs.
Let the dog out. Step outdoors to get the paper. Follow the dog to his "spot" in the yard. Wait for him to do his business. Use the plastic wrapper from the newspaper to scoop said business and walk to the garbage can next to the garage to deposit bag. Pull a few weeds in the front flower bed. Play tug with the dog for a minute. (Yes, in the bathrobe. It's Oakwood.) Go inside the house.
Proceed to the kitchen. Wash your hands after that scooping business. Notice your wrist and remember that you do not have your step counter attached to your person. Go upstairs, trying to figure out how many steps you've missed counting so far. Retrieve your step counter. Shake it a few times to rack up the lost steps.
Look at the unmade bed. Decide to strip the sheets to put in the laundry. Walk to the bathroom linen closet to get the laundry basket. Return to the bedroom and load the sheets. Decide you might as well wash some towels while you're at it and walk back to the bathroom to get them. Hesitate to take the hubby's towel as he could use it this morning before you wash it. Leave the laundry in the basket upstairs and go back down to the kitchen.
Walk directly to the kitchen TV to turn on the Today show. Head over to the sink and fill the tea kettle with water. Put it on to boil. Walk to the living room where your iPhone is plugged in. Pick up your smart phone and check your email, Facebook, etc. as you return to the kitchen. Glance at the dog who is staring at his food dish. Walk to the dog food bin and dig out a cup of his kibble to feed him. Sit at the kitchen table for a few seconds and start the crossword puzzle to catch your breath before your next aerobic circuit.
Make breakfast. This can involve a variable number of steps depending on how many times you need something from the fridge that you didn't get the first time. Cheerios and milk require fewer steps than, let's say, eggs, ham, toast, tomatoes, butter and marmalade, but the calories can get trickier.
After you've eaten, begin your next aerobic routine. Climb the stairs to go hop in the shower. If your step-counting device is waterproof, you can gain bonus points for actually hopping in the shower, but be careful. Generally speaking, jumping up and down in a wet, soapy environment is considered unsafe.
Once suitably clothed, tour the bedroom for any items that might join the sheets and towels in the laundry. Look at that blouse in the closet that vexes you every time you see it because you never lost the weight needed for it to fit again. Decide to give it to Goodwill. Start a pile of things to go to Goodwill. Go through your closet and your hubby's closet and shift things from the guest room overflow closet to the bedroom closet. Walk back and forth a dozen times. Go downstairs to get a garbage bag for the discards. Realize as you pass through the kitchen that the floor needs mopping. Go to the basement to get the Swiffer. Return to the kitchen and realize you need a new refill on the mop. Go back to the basement. Go back to the kitchen. Mop.
While the floor dries, make your way toward the hall stairs with the garbage bag and notice that the mail has arrived. Open the mail and sort bills. Take the bills to your home office and sit for a minute to pay them online. Check your email, Facebook, etc. Begin a reply to your BFF's email. Get up to make a cup of tea in the kitchen. Return to the computer and finish your email. Go back to the kitchen now that your tea has steeped and pour a cuppa. Decide to have crackers with jam as a snack. Drip jam on your T-shirt.
Go upstairs to change. Look for a clean T-shirt. The one you want to wear needs ironing. Toss it in the laundry basket with the sheets and towels and proceed to the basement. Put the laundry in the washer and iron your shirt.
Realize you need to pee after drinking so much tea and make your way upstairs to the powder room. Realize the powder room needs cleaning. Go back to the basement to get cleaning supplies. On your way upstairs, check the recycling bins on the basement landing. They're full. Haul them to the garage. Notice a bunch of weeds in the side garden. Come back inside to put on sunblock and return outside to pull weeds. Come inside again to clean powder room. Return cleaning supplies to basement. Run upstairs when the phone rings. Hang up abruptly on telephone solicitor. Remember you need to put washing in the dryer. Go back down to load the dryer.
Return to kitchen. Wow! 5,563 steps and it isn't even lunch yet!
OK, by now, you've got the gist of the ADHD plan. Adapt as suited. And remember, every retraced step is one more step toward your goal. Now go get your Decathalon on!