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:
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:
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.
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….