I am sure most of you are like me and each Spring have a list of outside projects or chores that need to be done around the home or property. Below is a small list of “Chores” that can be turned into a quality Aerobic workout when done with just a small bit of intensity.
Lawn Mowing – Get a push style mower and don’t use the Auto drive feature. Push the mower at a fairly fast pace until your heart rate (HR) has reached it’s cardiac zone. Continue mowing at this pace until you are done. Only taking a few second break to empty the bag. I typically run to and from while I am dumping the bag out. If you are like me and have just at a half an acre to mow, it actually turns out to be about 35 minutes of an Aerobic workout.
Lawn Thatching– Not only can thatching be an Aerobic workout, but can also work that core area also. The thatching (with a thatching machine) part is not the workout, heck the machine basically runs itself. However the clean up can be back breaking, tedious work. By using a landscaping rake start at one end of your yard and rake a single width of the landscape rake backwards 20-30 feet. Push the rake down with your forward hand as much as you can making sure you get as many grass clippings as possible. When you have gotten to your end point walk briskly back to your starting point and start over until you have a long swath of grass piled up over the entire length of your yard. Once you have this long swath of grass, rake it into a single pile before starting over with another swath. Continue at a brisk pace until you have raked up the entire yard.
By alternating which hand is placed forward on the rake with each pass you will start to feel a slight muscle burn in the arms and upper and lower back. While you are hunched over (slightly) raking remember to keep those abdominal muscles as tight as possible.
If you really want to torture yourself don’t rent the thatching machine and use a 14 inch metal rake to complete your thatching chore.
Fertilizing or re-seeding– Not even close to a work out when using a push style spreader, but by using a hand held spreader you can work a very important muscle group. You know, the one that helps you hold that 5 plus pound bow in the drawn back aiming position. You think I am joking. Try this: Fill a hand spreader fertilizer/seeder up as full as you can get it. Walk at a brisk pace while holding your arm straight out in front of your body while at the same time the opposite hand is cranking the spreader handle. When the spreader is empty, fill it as fast as possible and continue on while holding that bow arm straight out in front of you. You should feel a little burn, especially when caring for a large sized yard.
Chopping Wood– Need I say more. Throwing a 7-10 pound splitting maul around for an hour while splitting a cord of wood is a work out. Remember to use good form. This is not the time of year to get a muscle strain.
None of the above will replace a solid and consistent exercise routine, but why not get a little extra aerobic workout in while doing those spring and summer yard chores. The chores have to be done anyway, so why not kill two Elk with one Arrow!