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The ''Real'' Woman's Workout

Find Ways to be Inefficient

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  • What a great article! While I do try to do extra things and make extra trips to and from the car and such, until last fall, I never realized what was right in front of me and all around me, naturally, that I could be doing more frequently for exercise. We live in the country and have ponds with critters that we feed. I used to try to haul as much corn or birdseed as possible in order to make only 1 trip. It dawned on me one day that the trip to any feeder, which is on an good incline, is good exercise which I could really feel in the back of my legs, so I began making one trip at a time. Also, we have a ramp going into our shed which I have to go up and down everytime I need feed, gardening stuff, etc. I used to hate it until I realized it was an exercise tool as well. If all I do in a day is walk up and down the hill a few times/and or the shed, then I've done something beneficial that costs nothing.

    If none of this is available, then how about:

    Parking at the end of the Walmart parking lot and walking to the store, make a few extra trips around the store, which I used to do because of disorganization. Now I go round and round intentionally. My husband doesn't realize he's getting exercise too. He hates to walk, but round and round a store is just fine. You can do this with any store, even a smaller grocery store or department store. Park at the far end and make many trips through the store and up and down the isles.

    When you get home, it has to get carried in, just do it one or two bags at a time.

    Have a pet? Walk it way more than it needs to be, but it will benefit both of you. If you are overweight, most likely the pet is too.

    Going to a concert? Show? Theater? Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk around a little bit before and after the show.

    Work? Once again, park as far away as possible and walk a time or two around the building, especially using steps to go to other floors, then back down again.

    Live in an apartment? Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

    Clean the house? I have a real small house, but I go round and round inside so much when I'm cleaning and I do it in such a disorganized manner, it seems all i do is go round and round. Totally inefficient, but I'm moving so much more than if I change to efficiency.

    Garden? Big or small, once again, make as many extra trips as you want. Haul each bag one at a time, each plant one at a time, go back for each tool, gloves, fertilizer, etc., one trip at a time. And each day, make extra trips around your garden to check progress. Make extra trips for de-heading certain plants. Once veggies are ready, make extra trips to pick them. Be extra diligent about picking weeds. Maybe pick them every day.

    Surely you can make whatever it is you do, much more beneficial. It doesn't matter what your status is, whether you have kids, or if your single or married. There is more you can do if you choose too.

    By the way, I don't have children either, but I prefer a "A Real Life Woman's Workout" anyday. Simply put: I prefer to use what's around me that I can take advantage of without spending money! This planting season, I did alot of the hauling, digging, pulling, planting, raking, pine-cone picking, mulch hauling and laying, and now watering in as many trips as possible. It feels way better than the gym!
  • ALICOTTER:
    I don't believe "real life women" is meant for women with children and/ or partners. It seems to me that it is simply about looking around you and making the most out of what you have and do regularly that you don't consider exercise. Then do it more frequently. I.e. haul wood, groceries to and from car, one bag at a time, vacuum your house 10 times instead of one. Whatever YOU do, do it more frequently.

    Do you have an animal to walk? walk it more frequently. Do you have a niece, nephew, grandchild? Take it to the park more frequently. Do you clean your house? Clean it more frequently, maybe vacuum alot. Who knows, only you know what you do. Do it more, inefficiently.

    Bottom line: It's NOT All about the GYM!
  • I'm glad to see other people use stacking and carrying wood as a workout. I did that last fall and this past winter, but was too chicken to post about it; afraid people would make nasty comments that it was man's work. Same with shoveling snow. But my husband's back, hips and knees are so bad that he is not always able. I for myself welcome it as a workout.

    My husband will drive around the parking lot for 3 minutes looking for a spot when we could have parked and been in the store by then. Go figure.

    In a shopping plaza with outdoor entrances, my husband will get in the vehicle and drive to the other end. I always hoof it and say, see you at the other store. Till he gets in the car, gets it started, backs out and finds a parking spot, I get there about the same time - I got the few minutes of extra walking - hooray!

    Cleaning can be a workout, too. When cleaning your shower walls or your sliding glass door, instead of side to side motions, do squats - move your body instead of just your arm.
  • I'm familiar with this workout philosophy; I call it "Being the Family Pack-Mule".
  • REWINDME
    WHAT COULD BE MORE SIMPLE ...?

    It never ceases to amaze me that ideas like those in your article are easily done each day without really thinking about it or making any special effort.

    You have changed my life. I will be actively making changes.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas.
  • Greate article. I get the same flack from my sons("could you find a parking space any further away!!"). I work in an office (2nd floor). I purposely go up & down the stairs all day 1) I get my own reams of paper & extra for others; 2) bring my filing down to the filing room etc. True it may not always be the most efficient way but I'm staying active. I don't have much time to go workout.
  • DMAFFIE
    It's a rare day when I park close to the store when I go in to shop ... and no, most people just don't "get it"!!
  • In doing chores, I have to make lots of trips to-and-from the barn . . . and I very purposely try to make each of those walks BRISK, work my abs, do a little "marching" -- as long as I have to make all those trips, I don't just trudge along . . . I try to make them worth it!
  • FRUGALFOODIE
    I just love almost being run over by the people trying to get the parking spaces closest to the door of the gym! We watch people drive around the mall parking lot looking for a space while we park further out and walk to the shops (by the time we walk back to the shops the same cars are still driving around the parking lot!). What gets me is that these are the same people complaining that they don't have enough time for exercise. I'm with you, build in exercise into your daily routine.
  • My mom had an expression: "Use your head to save your heels". I think I'll change that to "Use your head to save your waistline" LOL

    Choosing extra physical effort has it's rewards.
  • ALICOTTER
    I find the term "Real-Life Woman" a put down of those women who do not have children or partners. Why is it that the world assums the only thing woman care about are kids and family issues. That only woman with families matter. There are a lot of REAL woman out there who have very productive lives without kids or partners.
    Oh and if I could select the kind of emails spark sends me I would opt out of the "Family stuff" however that is not possible.,
  • DAYHIKER
    We live in the country and prefer heating with firewood as well. It gives us exercise and keeps the house more comfortable than our gas furnace does at negligible cost. We garden and I push mow the paths through our woods and on the hills. I love not having to do the treadmonster after the long winter! The one thing I don't like about living in the country is that we are too far out for me to walk for our groceries!
  • I can't stand the people who will wait in the parking lot for the car in the second space that is pulling out. I would soooooooooooooo much rather just park far away and walk. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Right.
  • FORMERFATGIRL
    i really liked the creative thinking that this article not only gave but inspired!
  • I'll deliberately park in the corner of the supermarket car park. There's less competition for spaces, there's less risk of being bumped and the walk does me good.

    Some people would drive the car right into the shop if they could.

    Also if I'm going into town, I park in the car park at the top of town, which always has spaces, and walk. It doesn't matter where in town I'm going.

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