I’m not usually given to smiling very early in the morning, my default mood being generally grumpy at Dark O’Clock, but Friday saw me positively grinning at the TV.
A couple of scientists were on the news telling us what we really already know – that doing the housework or the gardening isn’t as good exercise as going to the gym, for a run or even for a speedy walk around the neighbourhood.
Well, someone hand me a Nobel prize and call me professor, because isn’t that obvious?
I used to live in a three-storey house with wooden floors and stainless steel everything and would work up quite an appetite cleaning the thing every week.
But even I know that no matter with how much gay abandon I threw my vacuum down two flights of stairs, and no matter how much I tried to get finger marks out, it would be no substitute for actually spending 90 minutes in the gym.
Especially if, like me, a post-cleaning reward is usually a cuppa and a biscuit or two while sitting and surveying your newly-cleaned domain.
My reward after the gym or a run is usually a bath followed by a healthy dinner.
And therein lies the rub. Getting out of the armchair and pottering in the garden or running a duster over your skirting boards is better for you than doing nothing at all.
It all depends on what you want to get out of it. Want to lose weight? Move more. Work up a sweat until you can’t carry on what you’re doing and sing at the same time. Then keep going.
But if you just want to keep active, every little helps.
My dad – who’s always been fit – had a heart op a little while ago, and he goes to a special gym session every Friday for people like him who need to keep active.
He also takes part in healthy walks around the countryside where he lives, which is a way for people to get exercise, keep footpaths open, and explore the area around where they live.
So here’s something obvious I’ve borrowed from Ella Fitzgerald (via Bananarama) that I’d like to say back to those scientists: it ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it, and that’s what gets results.