Yes…Yard Work is Working Out

Grass photo: Thanks to Zé Zorzan for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Turtle Photo by JBS 

Over the years, when I have discussed fitness with friends or other gym folks, the same topic always comes up. If we were still farmers or did manual labor 50-60 hours a week, would people still be going to the gym. And to be real, the answer is probably “no.”  We would be getting all the exercise we needed – and then some.

But, in today’s world, most of us have jobs that require us to sit on out butts more than we like. Often, we are paid to think and talk, and not to do manual labor. Often, those who do manual labor are underappreciated and underpaid. Many people went to college and received degrees to ensure that they would not have to work hard physical jobs. And there is nothing wrong with that; however, many of us are not getting the exercise we need.

So…let’s go further. Is working out in the yard good exercise? No! IT IS GREAT EXERCISE!!! I encourage everyone to do it. It makes your yard look good, gives you a sense of pride, and works muscles that you don’t always use at the gym.

It never fails me to have some sore muscles after a morning in the yard. Even if I have been working out, mowing trimming, clipping, and other yard work will use muscles in a different way then the gym does. That is a good thing.

Snappy’s Outdoor lists the following as the benefits of yard work:

  • Cardio
  • Total Body Workout
  • Prevents Aging – It is also a workout for your brain
  • Lowers Depression – natural sources of vitamin D
  • Therapeutic
  • Achievement

Any of these six reasons would be a good reason, but, add them all together and you can see why people need to be outdoors. As we get older, being connected to nature becomes even more important. We need to take the time to enjoy the wonderment of creation. 

During stressful times, it is good to see the world as it is.  There is nature that is going on with and without us. The world all around us is to be appreciated. It is there everyday. The birds sing, the animals crawl along, and the world is teeming with life.

A few weeks ago, after a long hard rain, a giant turtle showed up at my front door. It appeared that the sudden, hard, harsh rain had chased him from his home in the ravine. While he was sitting there by my door, I wondered how long had he lived in the ravine? How it was possible that his home had been there before even the housing development had been built and how it was also possible that we had disturbed his home so many years ago. As I watched him slowly crawling back to his little gully after the rain, I wondered if I would ever see him again. But it does not matter, he is always there, even if I see him or not.

Nature is wonderful like that and I am not going to see that at the gym.

As we get older, it is also important that we don’t get stuck in the house. The house is comfortable and cozy but being locked inside is bad. Nothing is going to beat sunshine and fresh air. Working out is as much mental as it is physical. NEVER FORGET THAT!!! Working out is a mental exercise.

When we are working out outdoors, however, don’t forget these safely tips from Beehive Insurance:

  1. Know your equipment
  2. Practice Ladder Safety
  3. Watch your children
  4. Check your extension cords
  5. Protect your body. (Sunscreen and proper clothing)
  6. Store tools and materials in safe places
  7. Don’t dig without permission
  8. Be conscious of electricity
  9. Get green smart – Be sure you know how to identify poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak, and similar toxic plants.
  10. Be Smart. It’s obvious. Never operate lawn machinery or use heavy garden tools while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Follow these simple rules and you will have a wonderful time outdoors.

So, if you can’t make it to the gym, get outside. Go plant a garden and enjoy the food. Work out and enjoy your life!  You deserve it!

Joseph St John