Have you ever looked around you at the gym and wondered at the pointlessness of it all? All that lycra - riding bikes, running treadmills, rowing ergos, reading stairs to nowhere. I am not suggesting that exercise and fitness is pointless, but maybe there is a better way go about it.
One day at the gym - flexing - and I caught my mind drifting toward all the work I had to do in the garden on the weekend and wondering where I could find a gardener to help me plant some things, dig some garden beds and spread some fertilizer - on top of the usual mowing and cutting I already had to do. If only there was more time in a day for both.
Which got me thinking that I couldn't remember the last time I saw an overweight or unfit gardener. Then I wondered if gardeners went to the gym? Duh. Of course not, they are too busy getting paid to exercise by doing gardening. Wait a minute - so I go to the gym to get exercise to get fit then I pay a gardener to do other exercise on my behalf so s/he can get fit.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised that something was screwed up here. It's not just about the fitness paradox. There is all that time invested in getting said fit gardener to turn up in the first place. Finding one, booking, sorting days, times, jobs to do. Then afterwards saying thank you, see you next time, organising diaries.
YOU PROBABLY THINK I AM NIT PICKING NOW, BUT ADD ALL THOSE PIECES OF TIME UP - IT'S AT LEAST AN HOUR. NOW LET'S ADD 2 X 1 HOUR SESSIONS A WEEK DOING WEIGHT TRAINING & CARDIO AT THE GYM AS WELL AS GETTING READY, DRIVING TO GYM AND PETROL FOR CAR OR TRAIN FARE.
AND LET'S INVEST THAT TIME & MONEY IN GARDENING AT HOME AND SEE HOW WE END UP. WITH AT LEAST 3, MAYBE 4 MORE HOURS A WEEK FOR A START.
To be fair, I am not entirely sure how many there are around as I've only met two - Katie from Olive Vegan Wood or Karen from Edible Eden. Katie is a vegan and will teach you how to plant an edible garden for a donation. Karen is in Melbourne and has taught literally thousands of home owners how to turn their back yards into produce stores.
So, just how fit can you get doing the garden? Here is a rough guide of calorie use in an hour, working at a good moderate pace. (And if you want something more specific, you might be in this for the wrong reasons!):
Use whatever is available to you. Ginny Stevens from Active Farmers sent us this picture of a farmer doing leg raises on a cow! Obviously not the first time, judging by the look on the cow's face.
Somewhat bizarrely, this DIY gardening seems to have saved money, offered the same fitness opportunity and created something special. And the option is on offer to most of us. We just don't always see it because we are caught up in the routine we call life. There are five massive bonuses I have gotten out of this changed mindset - that started with gardening and has now extended to domestic jobs.
Now if you are thinking that you don't have a garden and in the absence of somewhere to go, you'll be staying at the gym - think about someone who does have a garden who could use your help. They might even share produce or flowers with you. (It's not always about you, you know... x)
Main Image: Photographer Verity Vareé | Other images: Unsplash - Seth Doyle | Becca Matimba | Dan Gold | Bogomil Mihaylov
Love this, and with pumpkins about to be ready for harvesting in my garden (well technically they grew out of the compost and took over the lawn), I should be doing some weights soon.
Wednesday, 18 May 2022
That's a really interesting way of looking at it! Wow. A lot.
Tuesday, 7 April 2020
Wonder how many thousands of calories you could burn composting if you add them up over a month!!
Monday, 6 April 2020