Want to lose weight like a 1950s Housewife? The 1950s housewife workout isn’t really a workout so much as a lifestyle change. No major exercise is required!
While weight is not a good indicator for health and it’s important for us to learn to be happy with whatever body we have, we can often need to or want to lose weight.
I personally want to lose weight because I suffered a blood clot that turned into a life-threatening saddle embolism in July of 2021. While my weight wasn’t the cause extra weight can raise your clot risk and I want to do everything I can to reduce my risk of clots in the future.
In general, we keep finding that diets don’t work. Most people that diet end up gaining more weight in the end. They don’t tend to be sustainable and we often end up with a bad relationship with food.
Often a better way to improve our health is to focus on increasing our activity level. This can end up in weight loss but more importantly is good for heart health and our overall wellbeing, including mental wellbeing.
That’s why I love this 1950s housewife “workout.” It’s all about being more active and it helps us get more done at the same time!
1950s Housewife Workout
According to a study, by the woman’s magazine Prima, they burned more than 1,000 calories a day doing housework. Now we burn just around 560. That almost 500 calories more burned is like two candy bars. Not that you should be eating candy bars every day but that’s a lot of calories.
The Daily Mail even has an article, how 1950’s housewives stayed thin, where they show how women used to burn so many more calories with housework than we do now.
It’s not to say some women weren’t trying fad diets and even dangerous diet pills those days, they did but they also were more active than we are.
Tips for Staying Health the 1950s Housewife Way
Vacuum More Often
Vacuuming is good exercise and it is a chore many people are starting to do less often. Vacuuming often is better for our allergies and overall health, especially if you have pets.
Try a 1950s Cleaning Routine
It’s not just vacuuming that burns calories, all cleaning tasks get you moving. If you really want to give the 1950s housewife thing a try then try a 1950s cleaning routine. It’s a fun experiment and will really get you moving.
Cook from Scratch
Cooking from scratch is often better for us tastes better, and uses more labor so you burn more calories. It’s best if you pick healthy meals but it’s okay to make room for treats as well and making them yourself is better than buying them.
Start a Garden
Gardening is a great form of exercise and can be pretty rewarding. You can start a flower or vegetable garden. If you really want to be like a retro housewife, start a victory garden.
Use a Clothesline
Clotheslines save money and help your clothes last longer. It also gets you moving and some vitamin D. If you have never used a clothesline before I have lots of tips for using a clothesline to help you get started.
Do Some Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning is becoming a thing of the past but it’s a great way to get those seasonal tasks done and burn some calories at the same time. And don’t just do this seasonal clean in the spring, get in the habit of doing a big clean each new season.
You can even try a 1950s spring cleaning routine to really spring clean like a 1950s housewife.
Walk or Bike More Often
A lot of families only had one car in the 1950s so women did a lot more walking. If you are in a walkable area and can walk to some of your chores or friends’ houses it’s a great way to move more.
If that’s not really an option for you a simple walk around the block can be nice or you could meet a friend at a local park for a walk when the weather is nice. Riding a bike is also a great option. Especially if you need to go a bit further.
Try a Vintage Workout
There were also some workout trends for 1950s housewives. The Jack LaLanne Show was one popular workout show for women in the 1950s and there were other popular 1950s fitness routines people enjoyed.
It can be fun to try one out. Most were quite simple and can work even for those with minimal workout experience.
In general, the key is to get moving and clean more. If you are able to add in enough activity you may need less time in the gym and you will be getting two tasks down at once.