07/30/2014 07:22 EDT | Updated 09/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Homemaker Tips That Will Make You More Fit

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Do you use your oven as shoe storage? Do you often shop for "fresh" produce at the questionable convenience store down the street? Have you ever used your kitchen table as a drying rack, a laundry bin or an ironing board, sometimes simultaneously? If you answered yes to any of these questions don't worry, you're in good company.

Three years ago, I would have answered "yes" to all of the above. Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit it's true, throughout most of my 20s being domestic simply wasn't a priority. My career, my social life, my shoe collection and my fitness routine were FAR more important to me than any kind of organization...other than organized chaos, that is. But, fast-forward a couple of years, a dog, a boyfriend and a new-found interest in cooking and I'm proud to say I've evolved into a (somewhat) domesticated, (somewhat) young woman. (Insert slow clap here.)

Now, I'm not telling you about my homemaking achievements just for a few pats on the back. Rather, I'm telling you because in becoming a better "housekeeper," I've noticed that my dedication to health and wellness has reached a new level and I wanted to share the useful tips I learned along the way. Here's how being more domestic can actually help improve fitness and achieve weight loss.

Go Go Gadget, Groceries

There are two main ways a healthy eating plan goes awry. One is when we don't have food at home and have no choice but to go out to eat. Sure, it's possible to make smart choices when ordering from a restaurant, but it's a lot more difficult. The second occurs when our cupboards are stocked with "special occasion" treats. I know, I know: those Kettle Chips are just in case you have company over and the frozen pizza is for when your young nephews pop by. Usually your self-control prevails and you choose carrots and hummus over the tasty treats, but, when you're ravenous and those healthy alternatives have all run out -- guess what you're serving up for dinner? Yep -- chips and pizza. We need to make the healthy option, the easy option. Make grocery shopping (and I've realized 7-11 doesn't count) a regular thing and stock your shelves with fresh, delicious foods you enjoy both eating and cooking.

Get Cookin'

The rumours are true -- what you put in your mouth is the majority of the weight loss battle. Some even say 80 per cent! It really comes down to eating whole, real, fresh foods that grow naturally and don't come from a box. The only way to know exactly what's going into your body is to prepare it yourself. Now, I'm not suggesting you go hurry off to buy an apron and enroll for gourmet cooking classes, but figure out what works within your culinary skill-set and stick to that. If you can make chicken cacciatore and gourmet Thai curry sauces from scratch, good on you! If you can't, no need to worry. For example, my repertoire consists of a lot of steam-able veggies, rice, and protein that only requires oil, seasoning salt and an oven preheated to 375 degrees. (Hey, I never said I was the second coming of Julia Child.) Meals can be fresh, delicious AND quick at the same time!

Schedule your Sessions

There are also many ways we can sabotage our own fitness routines. Let's face it, life is hectic and busy and there are so many reasons NOT to go to the gym. If left to a game time decision chances are we're going to opt out of a sweaty hour in favour of happy hour. So, to prevent last-minute excuses, plan ahead and keep yourself accountable to a schedule. Go out, buy yourself a calendar and mark down the "Who, What, Where" of your workouts for the week. Studies show, when we write things down we're significantly more likely to follow through.

Be a Laundry Lover

So, you've been grocery shopping, cooking clean eats, scheduling your workouts ahead of time and feeling oh-so-proud of yourself. It's Thursday morning: early morning run day! You set your alarm and wake up excited and ready to hit the pavement, only to realize that you have no clean exercise clothes...and not in the "they're dirty but still wearable" kind of way. (Oh, whatever, we've all done it!) So you have to forego your run, throwing off your whole week of planning and progress and are left feeling oh-so-frustrated. With all the different distractions in life that can throw us off our game -- don't let a pair of dirty pants stand in your way. Need a reminder to wash your gear? Go ahead and pencil in a few special laundry days on that calendar you started to keep track of your fitness schedule. Ahhhh, gotta love when it all comes full circle!

Happy housekeeping!!


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