Alternate workouts

If you are like me, you get tired of doing the same old thing over and over.  That certainly goes for your workouts.  So how do you put variety into your workouts?   One way is to not do a formal workout every once and a while.

Today I did a regular workout.  It consisted of running down and up my hilly driveway once, then putting on my chain "vest", then doing 10 pushups and pullups.  I did this for several rounds.  I am sure you can do more rounds than me.  It felt good to go back to a regular workout today. Here's why:   I skipped the regular every other day workout last time.  Instead, I did some yard chores.

Where I live the ground is very rocky.  On top of that, I live on top of a hill which exposes the rocks.  Our home was cut into some woods.  We have little yard, just woods around a small yard.  But from time to time we plant a tree or a bush to decorate our little yard surrounded by woods.  And planting anything here in the ground is hard work.  It involves taking a pickaxe and swinging it overhead and digging its point into the ground over and over.  This is what it takes to loosen up the soil and rock mixture where I live.  After several minutes of this, the hole is ready to plant the tree or bush.   I have substituted this chore many times for a workout.  

If you find yourself with such a task, do not make the mistake of doing both the task and the workout.  Let the task be the workout.  Your workout will be waiting for you in two days.  And, you will go into it with renewed interest.

Another good example of a chore / workout is wood splitting.   I get lots of cut up trees from friends.  Most of the time the pieces are the right length to go into the fireplace.  But they are not split.  And unsplit wood will not burn very well.  So you have to split it.  I use a sledge hammer with a wedge.  Or, you can use a maul.  Either way, the swinging action is very good exercise.  Be sure to be very careful not to hit your legs!

Mowing a yard on a hilly slope can also be good exercise.  If you are in the mood for a lighter workout day, this is the light workout for you.  Watch the grass grow and plan on when you can substitute mowing for the workout.

And digging and moving dirt or sand is another great task that makes a good workout.

The reason for not doing the chores and the workout on the same day is RECOVERY.  When our muscles finish a strenuous job, they start the process of recovery.  If we put them to another stress, the recovery process is interrupted and must start again.  That is why it is best just to let the task be the workout.

Remember, you are in the fitness lifestyle for the long run.  And if skipping a workout and substituting a task helps you be more ready for the next workout, both in body and mind, that is the better way to go.  What do you think?  See more training tips here.

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