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!