A Different Take on Exercise

A couple months back an acquaintance who lived back east posted a video of herself with her physical fitness trainer running through some of his “special fitness techniques”.  There was a large tractor tire in the middle of a parking lot, and my friend was lifting it up and pushing it over.

Hmmm.  Turning over a tractor tire…and the area she was in was no where near a farm by the tall buildings in the background.

Doesn’t that seem silly?

When I told her I had a tractor out west here and a ranchette where she could actually do something practical while exercising she unfriended me on Facebook. Of course, she’d probably need to buy some jeans and cotton shirts instead of the bright pink and black work out clothes that probably cost more than my new goat.

I realize city folks spend all day sitting in cubicles with artificial lighting so they have to find ways of staying physically in shape to be healthy.  Like them, I was stuck in the D.C. area for two years in my job.  But I just can’t see paying money for the right to use a lot of machines – also indoors under artificial lighting – or having a private coach with “innovative” methods that look a lot like old fashioned farming.

During that time I found several state parks that needed help with keeping trails cleaned up or weeding gardens.  There was an animal rescue ranch not far away where I could help out and get to ride the horses.  I got a lot of exercise one day when the baby pigs got loose.  Of course, in winter I got the joy of shoveling snow out of my driveway, not something I do much here in New Mexico.

Every muscle group targeted in a gym is worked thoroughly by anyone who has a yard and garden.  Trimming bushes and trees works the forearms, biceps and hand muscles. Overhead swings with a pickaxe to break up clay soil is good for the abs.  Steering a loaded wheelbarrow around clamps the buttocks. Hoeing works the shoulders while shoveling dirt, piles of manure or snow is good for the calves.

The best part is that all this is done outside in the sun.  Not a lot of gardeners have vitamin D deficiency.  When you get to working on weed whacking the lawn or mulching the flower beds you lose track of time because your brain is engaged with details.  You don’t have to wear a headset while watching TV on your cell phone because running on a treadmill is incredibly boring.

Yards and gardens offer ongoing challenges and the delight of lovely flowers and fresh vegetables.

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