Why I’m Partial to Functional Exercise

Greetings, from The Tiredest Person You Know. (I don’t even have the energy to use an exclamation point.)

It’s been a busy few days here at Casa de TippyToe, both on the home front and the business front. Fortunately, I’m mostly self-employed and could shift a good bit of the business stuff to evenings and take advantage of gorgeous late fall weather to accomplish the home stuff during the day. Since the majority of the work needing to be done was outside, this was truly a blessing.

This was the weekend for the big leaf clean-up of the year. I’d completed one mulch-and-go of the whole yard earlier this fall, but then the leaves started falling in earnest, too much for my little mower-mulcher to handle. Time for the hours of functional exercise I do all year to be put to the test.

The big kick-off was Thursday morning:

gutter filled with leaves

I hadn’t cleaned the gutters on the back side of my house since late last winter, and I paid the price for it. Underneath these leaves were packed-down oak catkins from Spring. No choice but to clear every linear inch of it by hand (and trowel).

cleared gutter

Not perfect, but considering that all the leaves haven’t dropped yet, it should get me through the holidays.

I don’t love cleaning gutters, but I do see it as a victory, of sorts. Five years ago, I couldn’t have climbed up and down the 14′ ladder the number of times required to do all the gutters on my house (multiply this stretch times 4, plus 2 more shorter stretches). My arms and abs wouldn’t have been up to the task either. While cleaning gutters doesn’t require much in the way of strength, keeping those muscles engaged for long periods of time is wearing. The calf raises, shoulder presses, front/side arm raises, and planks I do at the gym really pay off when it comes to this chore.

It took me about two hours to get all the gutters done, along with a small bit of tree pruning so I could ease under it to reach a short section of gutter. I also put in an hour or so of leaf-raking/bagging before I moved indoors for income-generating work. According to WebMD’s Fit-o-Meter, I burned almost 1000 calories for the day.

For nine hours over the last three days, I’ve been raking and bagging leaves. Raking and bagging, raking and bagging, raking and bagging. And then those bags had to be carried to the curb. From the way my arms felt carrying them, I’d guess each one to be about 15-20 lbs. each. (I have to laugh: I start out doing arm curls, overhead presses, and shoulder shrugs while toting the bags, but by the end of the event, I’m barely dragging them to the curb.)

Nine hours and 45 packed bags later, I’d given every major muscle group a solid workout and burned another 3,000 calories, per WebMd’s calculator.

bagged leaves with major muscle groups worked

This picture makes me both happy and sad. Happy, in that a) the worst of it is behind me, and b) my body works well enough to have done all of these (with 4-bag help from neighbor Linda).

But sad because I still have a pile of leaves in the corner of my backyard (est. 6-8 bags) and as you can see in the background, there are still plenty of leaves in the neighbors’ trees. After I bag the leftover pile later this week, I’m hopeful my mulcher-mower will take care of the rest of the season. I’ll keep doing my functional exercises at the gym, just in case. :)

Although I haven’t felt any lingering soreness, I’m more than ready for bed at the end of each day. And that’s where I am right now–ready for bed!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!



11 thoughts on “Why I’m Partial to Functional Exercise

  1. Look how pretty and neat your house is! We don’t have gutters, so that is one chore we don’t have to worry about. Slate roof and everything just slides right off.

  2. That can be one seriously overwhelming job. You done good, friend! I’d seriously consider some of those Home Depot style gutter guards that you install yourself. They just pop in easily and work quite well for the miniscule cost. And yes, they even work for pine straw!! Love your house.

  3. Hey Cammie, I actually found the post pretty inspiring! I mean I am also fit and can do this kind of work easily, but I wait for my husband to help me roofs and gutters.. Forget gutter, bu I can certainly clean the roof.. I have spotted the health benefits behind it!

  4. I can’t even wrap my mind around the number of bags of leaves you have! I’d have to hire someone to come and do that job for me…

  5. Holy moly! I need a nap after reading that and looking at the pile of bags of leaves! 😉 You are Wonder Woman! :-) I guess there are advantages to living in the deep south where the scrub oaks don’t really lose their leaves and a lot of the green in my lot comes from cactii. 😛 I can’t imagine that there’s a muscle in your body that was left out of the workout!

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