How to work out without a gym in sight
If you’re worried about how you’re going to maintain your usual fitness routine, we’re here to help your change up your training regime with workouts that avoid having to go the gym, and might just sort out the garden you’ve been neglecting for months!
Tidy house. Tidy mind!
Cleaning your house is exercise. While you may not be in a gym pumping iron or running on a treadmill, but it is still exercise and requires you do to work and burn more energy than being sedentary…
Any type of movement leads to additional calories burned, so absolutely, housework is considered exercise. Just because you might not have sweat pants on or be wearing the latest sport shoe, it’s still exercise.
Did you know? A 130 lb woman might burn an addition 200 calories engaged in moderate housework such as dusting, vacuuming, laundry, etc. If you venture outside that same woman will burn over 200 calories per hour gardening and in upwards of 275-330 calories shoveling snow. Now you probably won’t develop muscle mass or experience a lot of cardiovascular benefit, but your efforts will be contributing to easier weight control and self-satisfaction.
How does your garden grow?
Gardening is ranked as a moderate to strenuous exercise by fitness experts, in the same class as a brisk walk or a cycling trip through the countryside. If you are shovelling soil, for example, you will be exercising all the major muscle groups – thighs, glutes, biceps, lower back and abdominal muscles – and burning a good amount of calories. The green-fingered will also be limbering up as they stretch for weeds and branches, bend down to tend to a plant or rake up fallen leaves. Digging a hole will burn some 200 calories per half-hour for men, and 150 for women; likewise, men will use up 157 calories through weeding, and for women, the figure will be around the same. This sum is akin to cycling for five miles or walking for two miles in 30 minutes.
You will need to be gardening for a minimum of half an hour several times a week to feel the benefits, but you’ll be increasing your flexibility, strengthening your joints and decreasing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels while hopefully taking in the sunshine. Always use your legs to lift up heavy items with your hands in the garden, and vary your tasks and movements to give yourself a full body workout.
Chop, chop – get chopping
Been cutting down trees recently? Bet you never thought you could make a workout of chopping them up! Make sure you pick an axe with a short handle for more control and power, with a blade that is around a kilo in weight. Wear safety glasses, thinnish gloves for grip, and stout boots. Lift the axe until it is slightly above your head and in the centre of your body. Your hands should be at opposite ends of the axe’s shaft, with your top hand sliding from near the blade down towards your lower hand as you bring the tool down in a line between your eyes and body. Try to have the wood you wish to chop at a height of around 40-45cm. You can always bulk up your arms by shifting the wood you have chopped.
Swinging an axe at a tree or chopping firewood is not only a hugely cathartic exercise, it also burns between 400 and 500 calories an hour. If you’re looking to beef up your arms, you may be disappointed though, since chopping wood is much more of a cardio and core-muscle workout than a conditioning exercise for your biceps and other muscles. In fact, if you bring the axe down the centre line of your body, you exercise the very same muscles you would when performing a crunch.
So it really is a win win situation – keep yourself fit, and get your garden looking fantastic. No need for a gym!