A few years ago, I was your typical office-worker: stressed out, uneven energy, overweight, and inconsistent complexion. Now I'm just your typical 28-year old urban hunter-gatherer on a quest to be healthy, and having a few adventures along the way. See my full bio.
The Tom Sawyer approach to moving apartments
Manhattan living is apartment living, and apartments are the dwelling of choice for people on the move. And between you, your family, friends, and co-workers, someone always seems to want you to help out on that dreaded ordeal: The Do-It-Yourself Move. Heavy boxes, unwieldy furniture, and all those clothes on hangers. Five floor walk-ups, tight corners, and June humidity. At least you finally get to use your hard-won Tetris skills to pack the U-Haul.
So what can Tom Sawyer teach us about avoiding unpleasant chores? That they're often just a matter of perspective. He famously convinced his friends to whitewash Aunt Polly's fence by making it seem like a fun opportunity. All he did was trick his friends into thinking the work was fun -- and then they even paid him to let them do it. For my first half-dozen moves (mine or others), I viewed it as a chore and a favor to my friends. But then I pulled a Tom Sawyer -- on myself -- and I started to view moving as an opportunity to do an intense workout.
Here are 10 reasons why moving apartments can be an awesome workout:
- You're lifting heavy objects (lots of good squats)
- The weights usually don't have perfect handles (hand strength)
- The weights usually aren't evenly balanced (stabilizers)
- You have to perform multiple movements at once, like carrying, walking, and climbing (coordination)
- You have to coordinate your movements with other people (more coordination and teamwork)
- You have to navigate hard corners and narrow doorways (focus, adaptive strength, and problem sol ving)
- It usually lasts longer than a typical workout (good to occasionally push your endurance)
- You get nice intervals of intensity and rest (carry up a load, go back down)
- There are clear functional goals beyond "looking good" (don't break stuff, move it all in, get the U-Haul back in time)
- You are helping others
There are people who pay personal trainers $75 an hour -- and then pay movers $300 to move their boxes for them. Here's a brilliant idea: scrap the personal trainer for a week and move the boxes yourself. Save money, get a workout, help out your friends, and be in a positive frame of mind while you're doing it. Everybody wins.
Just don't lift with your back!