Fitness Gadgets: Home & Garden Edition

In my home gym, I have a treadmill (two, actually), a set of 10# dumbbells, a large and a small stability ball, a bench step, and some exercise bands. Not a lot, but enough to get me through the handful of snow days we have in Memphis if I can’t make it to the gym around the corner.

I also have a whole other set of home-based fitness gadgets that I rarely use, but boy-o-boy, did I use them this weekend:

yard equipment

Most of you probably recognize the rake. For those of you who don’t, it’s the long-handled (and in this case, ergonomically-correct) pole with the blue tines on the end. The yellow disks are my new fave-find, Leaf Scoops. When I’m not marching around the yard using them as clacky cymbals, they’re amazing for scooping huge stacks of leaves from the lawn, after which I deposit them in my Bag Buddy. The Bag Buddy doesn’t help so much with physical fitness, but it does help my patience when dealing with a plastic bag on a windy day.

My other fitness gadget of the weekend:

ladder to ground view

In addition to raking duty, I also had to clean my gutters and roof. (Yes, that’s my dangly Asics in the bottom of the photo.) I must have climbed up and down that ladder 50 times this weekend! The arches of my feet were so sore that night I could barely walk.

Which brings me to my point: Yard work is awesome exercise! Squats, lunges, calf raises, stair climbing, stretching, lifting–the list goes on and on. I even discovered (or perhaps invented) leaf-bag planks, which look something like this:

Only with a bag full of leaves instead of a ball. (Also, it should be mentioned, with me wearing gloves, jeans, and sweatshirt.) I’ve found the leaf bag plank to be very useful for squishing out the air between the leaves so that more leaves can be packed in there. I’ll admit, though, that after I had bicep-curled my way to the curb with 10 bags of leaves, I might not have been trying to pack quite so many leaves into each bag. :)

leaf bags at curb

At dusk on Saturday, I was at 19 bags and a pile of assorted trimmings (pruners–another great fitness gadget). And an achy back. I quit when the daylight ran out. Unfortunately (hah!), Sunday was rainy, and I couldn’t finish. I’m about 2/3 of the way through this leaf clean-up, but the hardest part (the gutter/roof cleaning) is behind me. It’s hard to feel relieved for any length of time, not with so many leaves remaining in the trees.

Still, as you can see, I definitely got in a great workout! Weekends like this are when I’m glad I do a lot of functional exercises in the gym, rather than rely on cardio-only or the machines. Functional exercises help me strengthen the muscles I need to be able to do these tasks for myself. I certainly couldn’t have done this 100 pounds ago!

Hmmm, it just occurred to me that the annual cost of my gym membership (which I’ve stubbornly hung onto, despite the employment situation) is nicely offset by the amount I used to spend on lawn care for the year. Almost to the dollar! (Sorry, Mr. Lawn Guy, maybe when I win the lottery or my own business grows.)

Do you take care of your own lawn work? Would you like to help someone finish the rest of her leaves? :)

Today’s tip in honor of my launching of Serentipity is a cute idea I spotted recently:

It’s a cornucopia waffle cone with cut fresh fruit. Can’t you just imagine serving a platter of these to your guests for healthy Thanksgiving dessert? Maybe with a bowl of fresh whipped cream for a wee bit of indulgence. Ahhhh….

13 thoughts on “Fitness Gadgets: Home & Garden Edition

  1. What a great workout!!! Now that I live in an apartment, I don’t have yard work to worry about at all. Back when I lived in a house, we did the routine stuff… like mowing, trimming, and raking… but always hired someone to do seasonal things like cleaning gutters, rolling the yard, etc.

  2. I know this scenario all too well. We have almost 3/4 of an acre and it’s lined with trees. Usually our entire month of mid October to mid November is spent trying to catch up and get them all into a pile which we pay to have picked up by the curb (our only other alternative is burning and I can’t bring myself to do that to the environment). Luckily we don’t have to bag, thank goodness. Looks like you are all ready for Springtime now, Cammy! Clean gutters and all :)

  3. I admit that in past years I’ve let my husband take care of it on his own. I have mold allergies. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! Actually, this year he is mowing to mulch them, having read it’s good for the lawn. When my boys were little we did leaves as a family and they, of course, “helped” buy jumping in the piles.

  4. I love that waffle cone idea! Totally stealing that!

    I do the majority of the outside work, actually. I am somewhat particular about the length of grass and I will mow before John has a chance to. We sort of try to alternate who mows, but I don’t mind mowing at all since we have such a small property. The garden is all mine.

    Yesterday I did all the leaf raking. However, we have a mulching mower and just mulch up the leaves instead of bagging them.

  5. Dang, what a workout! Now I remember why trees make me claustrophobic – it’s really fear of yard work. God help us, but even in our desert landscaping we use a gardner. I have a post coming up about my rock garden. Hey, it takes a lot of effort to throw stones, er, I mean move rocks.

  6. Oh, that looked like fun! Although I would much prefer it if you could just gather it in a pile without the plastic bags – and we can all jump in 😀

  7. That looks like a lot of work! And you’re right, it’s too much when you carry a lot of extra weight… For now I’ll just stick to apartment living…

  8. I hate yard work, but thankfully my husband loves it 😉 That said, I love to deep clean the house. We could have used those leaf scoops in prior years…the big, beautiful maple in our back yard came down during Hurricane Irene and this year we had hardly any leaves!! I miss the tree and the leaves, even though they were a PITA to pick up!

  9. Those leaf scoops are super cool – I just might have to look into them. But truth be told, I despise yard work. Bleh.

    Love the waffle cones with fruit. They look amazing! But not on Thanksgiving. No way. Gotta have my pies. 😉

  10. Loved the post Cammy & so true! Yard work & other work around the home can torch some major calories! I once shared an ACE article on tis & calories burned & depending on what you do – it does burn. Looks to me like you had quite a “workout”!

    Here no yard so I almost wish I had one even with the yard work cause no yard is boring & too high density.

    Love that waffle cone thing!!!

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