Vacuuming and Fitness

My floors at home get dusty and dirty quickly with 3 kids running about, dropping bloody cheerios and crumbs everywhere. If we don’t vacuum for a while the place is stinking. So I vacuum.

I hate vacuuming but the alternative is dirty floors and dusty rooms so it gets done. Nobody in their right mind enjoys vacuuming, yet everyone does it as they recognise the necessity of doing so.

Let’s look at the logic here

  • We want to have a certain outcome (clean floors).
  • To achieve that outcome we need to do a task regularly that we would prefer not to do (vacuuming).
  • As tempting as it is to just not clean your floors, the outcome of not vacuuming is a big mess, which we enjoy even less than doing the annoying task.
  • So we will be vacuuming semi-regularly for as long as clean floors are important to us.
  • Most people understand this, and accept vacuuming as the best way to achieve clean dust-free floors, hence why everyone has a vacuum cleaner.

I swear this is an article about health and fitness, bear with me….

We don’t trawl the internet for “clean floor solutions” that stop us having to vacuum at all. We don’t avoid at all costs the obvious, most effective long term clean-floor-solution that is vacuuming, in favour of a new “wonder powder” that claims to “eat dust” while we sit on the sofa. We don’t buy books called “Get Those Clean Floors You Want in just 6 Weeks, the Easy Way!!“.

We just recognise vacuuming as the best way to get a necessary job done. So we vacuum.

Living the Vacuuming Lifestyle

Now, just because we vacuum doesn’t mean we have to love it, and have to change what’s important to us in life, and live the “Vacuuming Lifestyle”. We don’t need to beat ourselves up for not having crazy fun every time we need to change the vacuum bag.

We don’t feel the need to gush to friends about this great way we’ve found to really hit those corners and skirting boards. Nobody boasts about how clean they got the stairs carpet last week. We get it done and we get on with our lives with our nice clean floors.

Vacuuming is something that needs to happen so we can get on with the more pressing/enjoyable things in life. Constantly looking for ways of maintaining clean floors that are new, fun, exciting and take less time than vacuuming is daft, and a waste of time and money.

You’re clever. You know where this is going…

Let’s replace ‘Vacuuming’ with ‘Fitness Training’

Why don’t we apply the same logic with these things?

We want to have a certain outcome (live longer, stay fit, strong and healthy, weight control). To achieve that outcome we need to do a task regularly that we would all prefer not to have to do (resistance training, cardio training, etc).

As tempting as it is to just not do any fitness training, the outcome is a big fat unhealthy life-damaging mess, so we need to train semi-regularly for as long as a fit, healthy body is important to us. This is just as simple as choosing to vacuum isn’t it?

But unlike vacuuming, people refuse to accept this:

  • We DO trawl the internet for faster, easier solutions – superfoods, slimming pills, wonder diets, dubious abdominal training devices.
  • We DO waste money on wonder products that promise minimal effort for maximum reward – 2-week Cleanse, Cabbage Soup Diet, VibroPlates.
  • Those who do train boast endlessly about what they are doing, feeling the need to share the fact they are undertaking this necessary task, actively trying to appear to be living a Fitness Lifestyle.
  • And we DO expect the task to be relentlessly fun, enjoyable and rewarding. The minute it stops being fun we stop “I just wasn’t enjoying it any more…”.

Imagine doing that with vacuuming:

Ah it was great for the first few weeks, the big loud WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO sound, the retractable cable, THE ATTACHMENTS!! But then it just wasn’t fun any more, so I now live in filth with my dust allergies and minging floor. I might get one of those Peruvian Mountain Goats, you know the ones that apparently love licking floors clean….

I get that it can be confusing, always having our heads turned by the New Thing On The Block promising the world. Who wants to buy a book or product that promises “.. to teach you all the stuff you already know you have to do, that has worked for centuries and is not new in any way!!“.

But that’s exactly the point – you know what needs to be done, just as you know vacuuming needs to be done. You know that fitting in challenging exercise regularly is the best way to stay fit, strong and healthy (the diet side of things is a Post for another day obviously…).

Accept the Task

Stop fighting the facts and damaging your body in the process. Find a way of training that fits into your life. Keep doing it. Don’t expect it to be fun, because the fun comes from the benefits of doing it, like the feeling of not having minging floors any more post-vacuuming.

But a clean floor pales into insignificance against benefits such as a healthy heart, bulletproof body, strong muscles and bones, big healthy lungs, and a longer life to enjoy with your family…