Good Old Fashioned Physical Labor For Better Health
Unfortunately (for our health) our modern way of life involves more sitting and little exertion than standing, moving, and good old fashioned physical labor. Physical Labor is just not a part of today’s worker majority.
Most of our jobs and occupations require little or no physical labor. Lots of office jobs. Desk jobs. Even lots of our service jobs don’t amount to very much physical labor. Exceptions being construction and other such occupations that actually do require physical labor.
All this can’t be too good for our modern health and modern survival.
Being a preparedness website, not only do I merit good general health during ‘good times’, I also merit having good health and strength for potential difficult times!
You can’t ‘get in shape’ overnight. So don’t think that you’ll just turn it around (your health and strength) over a short period of time when you’re ready…
It takes time. It takes change. Permanent changes.
( How To Lose Weight Fast With This One Tip )
Physical Labor For Better Health
One of the best ways to improve your health and to feel better in general is to exert yourself physically.
With the exception of those who simply cannot do it, or have doctors orders not to exert themselves (this is not medical advice – seek your doctor’s advice), get out there and do some physical labor…
Why is it a good thing?
– It gets your heart rate up, your blood flowing, and that’s a good thing.
– Physical activity strengthens your muscles and that’s a good thing.
– Exercise and physical labor gets more blood flowing in your brain. It helps you ‘feel better’ and sharpens your focus.
– More calories are burned which will help you lose weight if you’re overweight (just don’t consume those calories right back by stuffing your face with food afterwards!)
– Exercise increases metabolism and strength exercises increase muscle that burn more calories.
We All Could Stand To Improve Our Health
With rare exception, ALL of us could use improvement in the area of our physical health. How many of us are already in top notch shape? Some, I’m sure. But for most, probably not.
If that’s you, then it’s up to you to do something about it.
How To Get More Physical Activity
If your ‘job’ does not entail much or any physical activity, then you really need to make time to compensate for the lack thereof.
It’s easy to sit down. It’s harder to get your butt up and do some work. But here’s an encouraging tip:
Once you start exerting yourself, exercising, or physically working, the activity itself can become motivating! You will feel good about the fact that you are accomplishing better health and it will help keep you going.
Whenever possible, get outside! Outdoor physical activities are a bonus. There is something about the fresh air outdoors that is more invigorating than exercising indoors. It really peaks the mind. Helps you think.
Don’t let the Winter stop you! The Winter season keeps more of us indoors. However there is little excuse (okay maybe there are a few) to get outside during the Winter and do something. You can still walk (albeit more carefully). I enjoy walking the fields, trails, and woods with my snowshoes. Exploring. Look for places where you can do this.
When I was a young kid I loved going out in the snow during Winter. Making snow forts. Sliding on sleds, toboggans, and those old circular metal discs… I got into skiing for awhile. I still enjoy being outdoors. And despite that I’m in my 50’s now, I still slide down the hill behind the house with Mrs.J in a plastic toboggan! What fun! The physical labor part is walking back up that hill!
Mrs.J also has a treadmill which she uses daily during the Winter months. I suppose that I should get on it too (she keeps bugging me about that). But instead I will go outside for a walk. More fun looking for animal tracks in the snow…
Sunny Health & Fitness Treadmill
Another great option for exercise is the rowing machine. Rowing machines use up to 80% of the bodies skeletal muscle!
Sunny Health & Fitness Magnetic Rowing Machine
Take the stairs. How many of you work at a place with an elevator? Don’t take the elevator, take the stairs instead.
Park Further Away
Whenever you’re going to a store, etc.. with a parking lot, park further from the entrance. Don’t be that person who’s always looking for the front row spot… Although I always park further away from the front (because I have to due to the size of my truck), it’s a great idea to walk for your health.
Ride a bicycle. Do you live close enough to work to ride a bicycle on a nice day? Do you even have a bicycle? It’s another good form of physical activity.
Play sports. Most all sports require physical activity. Some more than others. Maybe you’re older and past your prime in this department. It doesn’t mean you can’t play a little with your kids or grand kids.
Play with your dog. Dogs love to play with their humans! It’s not only good for them, it’s good for you! Get a ball, throw it. Chase together…
Lift weights. You don’t have to be a body builder to simply lift weights for strength training. Buy yourself some dumbbells or even a weight bench set. Turn on some music and get to work…
Mow the lawn. Maybe more often. Do more yard projects. Gardening is good exercise. Build something.
Hiking is beneficial physical labor and exercise. Hike a hill or a mountain. Even the flats. There are trails everywhere if you look for them. It’s fun too!
You get the idea. Seek out physical labor and activity. Do it for your health. For now, and for your preparedness.
More: 5 Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity
More: Spend More Time And Resources On Physical Conditioning
More: Walking: Survival Fitness and Exercise
I have noticed that since we moved to a very rural setting I am much more active, especially outside. hiking our land, firewood chores, clearing areas, maintaining trails, etc. In the summer, just mowing takes a whole day!
I’ve lived in most “settings” in my life time so far, from apartment complexes in cities, suburban neighborhoods, and the country. Country wins… every time. More freedom and more to do really helps out with getting into better shape. I just have to get up off my hinder and get out there!
Oh my I am first to comment. My husband is going to be 80 next year. When we came to this property in “95 it was raw land and he was taking 100 mg of blood pressure meds. 17 years later he is taking nothing, is fit, still cuts wood with a chain saw and is able to out hike me at 10 years younger. The VA called about something and wanted to talk to him. I said he is out cutting wood about an acre away. They said, cutting wood at his age? I said well I don’t want to do it.
Most people up here are our age or older and mostly fit. We have all started with raw land in our 50’s-70’s. So we are old up here, but we are mighty!
old lady….good for you and your hubby! :) Your an inspiration!
I agree with Shepherdess that you are an inspiration. I am 60 and my husband is 70 and we do gardening, shoveling and general cleanup in our homestead. We both get aches and pains, and I worry how long we can do this…..but then I tell myself that we can continue to do this for as long as possible as long as we just DO IT. Your post made my day. Take care.
NOW your making ME feel OLD!……..and I’m only 60.
Ms lady I want to be like you !! Where is up here located?
Good suggestions above.
Don’t Forget the 4 Adult Activities for staying in good physical condition.
1. The one armed beer can lift
2. Simple short term memory loss always has me walking back and forth looking for my sun glasses and keys. Cause of this, See #1.
3. Chasing your kids around plus if you’re not fast they’ll eat all the food on the table before you get a chance.
4. Nightly Bedroom Activities ;) – Leads to more kids resulting in more weight loss.
5. Hot Tub Therapy just sweat off the pounds – Note: hot tub is my primary water storage should make for some good tea. Ha!
Sorry for being a such weisenheimer.
I believe it was Clint Eastwood who said in one of his movies- “A man has got to know his limitations.”
As I age, and in the aftermath of several fairly recent major surgeries, (heart by-pass, carotid artery intervention, total hip replacement), I’ve become very aware of my physical limitations. Like many on these pages, this is a fact that tempers all my preps and forces some fatalistic restraints on my plans for shtf or teotwawki. Bugging out is very unlikely, standing my ground is unavoidable. My death is inevitable, only the time and place is in question.
Despite my limitations, I have a very large, lifetime in the making, repertoire of knowledge and skills that will stand in good stead in bad times. This gives me comfort.
Everyone needs to be truthful with themselves, assess reality, avoid wishful thinking, and plan accordingly.
At least your realistic about it all D, so many are not, they think they will be running and gunning and fighting off every stray that tries to steal their stuff. Reality bites sometimes but we got to face it. Im in the same boat basicly, know my limitations, and know realisticly that taking a stand is all i can do for so many things, may be stupid of me but i wont be running( not cause im fat cause im not) and im no gunfighter, and some stuff just might not be worth surviving.
my husband thinks he is still 20 not 80. Some things maybe, other times, not so much!
The little bit fitter you get doing more physical activity when you get older tends to slow the limitations down. Old Lady has some excellent points in her post. Her husband has improved since moving rural and exercising more. He is off is blood pressure tablets and using a chain saw at 80.
I’m a mere 66 but last year I took up cycling again – haven’t done any since I was 18. Lost more than 30 pounds and have never felt better in years
I agree with this article whole-heartedly. When we moved to our place 9 years ago, it was a lot a physical work at first. I still held down a desk job in the city, and commuted 60 minutes both ways. But the farm work kept me going. Since parting ways with my desk job two years ago, and working from home, I have lost weight, and felt better, doing more physical work around the farm. This year we finally got to build our garage/barn/canning kitchen/ with a loft building. Lots of physical work, setting of forms, pouring and finishing concrete, framing. Truth be told, I feel better than when I first moved here. I will be 63 in a few months, and I feel I am in better physical and mental health then I have ever been. Working outside into the deep winter months has also kept the winter blues away. My Dad, an engineer also, always said that you have to keep a delicate balance between “brain work” and “brawn work”. so true.
Quote, My Dad, an engineer also, always said that you have to keep a delicate balance between “brain work” and “brawn work”.
I like that motto! Thanks for sharing.
I used to be a hard worker. I had a full time job and ran a shop in my garage at home as well. I was strong as an ox. I blew out my back and had my first surgery in 2006. The Dr. put me on a 50 lb. weight limit for the rest of my life. I felt so much better that I disregarded the weight limit and went back to working hard in the shop. In 2012 I had my second back surgery and I don’t feel that much better. I have closed the shop at home and now work in the parts dept. because I can’t keep up in the shop. The harder I work the more I hurt. It has taken some time to accept the fact that I am not strong any more. I try to do as much as I can but when I over do it I pay the price for several days in pain. It hurts my feelings to ask for help or admit I can’t do something, but it hurts my back even worse if I don’t.
I am fortunate in that I chose a career path that does not require me to work hard physically every day. I made a conscious decision to change to a thinking persons career as a young wildland firefighter years ago. I took a look around me and did not see many front line firefighters in their mid 40’s. (I saw a few back at headquarters with the banks of radios and maps with the push pins.). It is a very darwinian line of work that weeds out the weak or non-commited.
As a medical worker in my 50’s I see many people take themselves out of the workforce with bad personal habits, poor judgement or just plain wrong thinking. We all have vices. I just choose to manage my vices in small doses and not go overboard. This is a longwinded version of Dennis’s statement of : “know your limitations”.
The nice thing is, I can relate to my patients who are older and just starting out on a new medication to manage their high blood pressure. ( been there, doing that right now.) I no longer run distance. It has been decades since I ran a 5 minute mile. I used to be a legend in my ability to carry 50% of my body weight for days on end with no physical breakdown at high altitudes. Those days are now gone.
I still hike in the hills, do my own yard work, I have my mountain bike on rollers because the weather is bad here right now. I walk around at my place of work quite a bit. ( many errands to be run within a large secure perimeter.) If the hike is too easy, put on a backpack with water bottles.
Shooting? I do it because it is fun. I am not storing away ammo for apocalyptic reasons. I have lots of inventory on hand in order to shoot and reload my rounds later. ( to include casting my own bullets from recycled lead.) Reloading makes shooting an affordable hobby over the long run.
So, my life is…boring when compared to some younger folks out there but, it boils down to: eat right, don’t drink too much. exercise in moderation and try to get enough sleep at night. ( sorry White Cracker, get in shape prior to your OTHER bedroom activities..)
As a young man, I was an athlete of note in my home state. Two hours of every day was set aside for intense workouts. I took much pride in my strength when given the opportunity to put it on display with my peers. I never spent time worrying about my diet. Didn’t seem necessary, since I was achieving all my physical goals without it. Life was good, I never had any major illnesses or symptoms of poor health until I hit 65 and underwent the physical assessment recommended by the Medicare folks. Clogged arteries everywhere, added to the arthritic hips I was already aware of. The cardiologist explaining my options in dealing with the clogged arteries and how I had arrived at the point that intervention was necessary, spoke of the role that genetics and heritage played a role. I laughed and told him, “Yep, my parents ate fried fatty foods and raised me the same way”.
I started reloading and storing away the components i like to use because i couldnt find much beyond common hunting rounds and standard mil surplus type ammo, i got the bug to tailor my ammo to the rifle rather than just burning components for the hell of it, that consistant every load measured weighed and assembled to real close tolerance is fun and satisfying, especially when you can pull any one of your rifles, slide a round in it and hit something 200, 300, Or 400yds away without even trying,
Life is funny, has a way of creeping up on you, next thing you know your needing s nap in the middle of the day and trying to figure out how you can get by without leaving home!
Love that middle of the day nap. It’s good for you,and you feel refreshed. As long as its not too long.Otherwise you feel all drug out.
Good day, Everyone,
When we started homesteading more, we dropped the gym membership b/c we were getting our work-outs here :) in that regard it saves money, even though we invest in the place here…
Also I’m the type that likes to get exercise but without thinking “I’m exercising”, so when I’m out doing chores with the animals (twice a day) all across our homestead I’m enjoying the moments
the sights and the smells and sounds….
But both Dh and I are mid-40’s are lifting within our means and not going over is something we have to be mindful of, backs and ligaments are not the same when we were 20 somethings…
We hired a local teen who we trust to help shovel out a year’s worth of manure in our barn area with my hubby helping on the tractor and some shoveling. That youngin’ did amazing amount of work and good work too….God bless him….we paid him good too!
One last thing, is remember to stretch….I do some each day, but more would be beneficial..
If you are 40+ stretching gently each day can help prevent those pulls and strains….
Peace and Good health to all :).
Good point on stretching every morning. Many years ago I worked at a mine where the crews, once they got their work assignments for the day, gathered around the mine manager for the morning safety meeting. The last part of the safety meeting was always “the stretch”, where mine management got out there and stretched with the miners. Health and Safety guy told me that this had cut down a tremendous amount of pulled muscle injuries over the years. Since that time, the industry has all endorsed this morning stretching, with benefits for everyone.
Thanks, for the reminder, working from the farm these days, I forget. I will have put stretching into my morning routine again. Peace and blessing to you also.
Thank you for the reminder to stretch. I must remember to do this more. I feel so much better to stretch my muscles, especially in the morning.
Ken – You forgot to mention one easy and productive way to get physical exercise – Mending Clothing with a Treadle Sewing Machine.
Similar to a rowing machine or treadmill, both the legs and the arms are involved, and the stair climbing can be incorporated if you have a multi-level home. Just have your treadle on one floor, and all of your mending articles, thread, spare needles, pin cushion, scissors, etc on another floor, and then wait until time to use something before you run down/up the stairs to go get it.
For the more hardy mender, added exertion can come from lifting the TV, fish tank, bird/gerbil cage, or whatever else is sitting on it off of and then back onto the treadle cabinet for each mending session. For an outside activity, move the treadle cabinet out to the deck or patio and back each session, and for an invigorating outdoor winter treadle sewing activity, you can throw in shoveling the snow off of the deck or patio each session before you move the treadle out there. (Shoveling the snow and then bringing the treadle down the stairs and out onto the deck/patio each time, then hauling it back upstairs when done, is an advanced workout for only the most fit treadle menders.) Mending clothing with a treadle sewing machine can be a total body workout for anyone.
CD in Oklahoma
If you work in a building of more than one story, take the stairs. More than five, start by taking the stairs down (all the way to the bottom if you can manage it) and then take the elevator up to the floor just below yours and take one floor up. Work up until you can do the whole thing twice a day.
As a young woman I was very active — belonged to the Colorado Mountain Club and went on 2 or 3 hikes every week. Also took Karate lessons.
Now, a senior citizen with a bad heart, there is less that I can do. But I have lived longer than almost all of my near relatives. In fact, adding up my deceased siblings, parents, & grandparents ages when they died and figuring an average, I get 62 years. I have them beat by more than a decade.
So even though my physical activity now mostly consists of short walks around town and work in my garden in summer, I still feel I have had a decade of extra life that my previous activity gave me.
It helps that I never smoked.
When I do get to the Doctor he always ask “how are you doing?”
A simple reply of “I’m old, fat, and ugly” that usually does it for the exam.
I have found that I work a LOT harder on the weekend than I do at work (desk job mainly), hence I go to work on Mondays to rest up for the next weekend.
I’m back to the retirement thing, I know dozens of people that always say “I don’t know how I had time to work now that I’m retired.”
Being on a small farm/homestead, there’s a daily animal ‘workout’ a few times a day. There’s also the gardens to tend to or upkeep, along with a couple of acres that we mow and keep trim. And of course, there is the typical maintenance on the house and outbuildings, and the periodic construction of a new shed of some type. (I’m trying to convince my hubby to build a shooting shed so that he can store things out at his range instead of always hauling everything to and from.)
Daily chores take about an hour twice a day. Up until about 2 months ago, I’d tote a bale of hay twice a day into the horse feeder. Now we use round bales and the tractor, so that physical labor has ended. We set it up this way due to possible issues as we age. Crazy that I feel I’m cheating the horses now because my labor has become minimized! I still clean the barn and their stalls but since they’re only locked in during their feedings, there isn’t much of a mess in the barn.
The rabbits, though….that’s another ordeal! Rabbits breed quickly and poop often! My, oh my, do we have the rabbit poop! Every month, we clean out the rabbitry, lime the soil, and start the cycle again. Rabbit poop is hauled by wheelbarrow into a different composting area than the horse manure is.
Since we got a new puppy, he is generally on a leash because he’s reached Mach 1 already. Lots of trips in and out will have him housebroken in no time, and since he loves to explore and walk/run/hop around, he’s a bundle of light exercise for me. lol
When I sprained my ankle in September, I had to stop doing a few things while I healed. I couldn’t give up doing the chores (and that’s why it took longer to heal), but it made me realize how important it is to be in good shape! I stopped riding my horse and stopped working them in the pen for almost 3 months — I felt it, felt my body ‘slow down’ and I actually felt sluggish. I don’t like that feeling, and I’m eager to be back to ‘normal.’ Once Christmas is over, I’ll be back on the saddle again and am looking forward to it. In fact, during the holiday break, I’ve got a trail-date with my granddaughter and we’re both looking forward to it.
Personally, I hate exercising. I’ve tried doing a few different types of exercises over the years and it bores me. I was a very athletic kid (a tomboy) and a daredevil. Back when I was about 40, I bought a rowing machine and a treadmill and it was SOOO boring. So I bought a kayak. Now, that was a blast!!! I used to paddle white water every weekend and even bought myself a wetsuit and even a dry-suit for Winter paddling. Unfortunately, there’s almost no one in my age group who is into the sport (and almost no females) — and this isn’t a solo sport. After about 5 years of having a 6-person raft, and after doing part-time river guiding on white water, I sold my raft. After that point, I used my kayaks when paddling. Then after I took a nasty spill and broke my tail-bone (the coccyx), I gave up the difficult white water paddling after the accident. So I sold my playboat and kept the ‘safer’ river-running kayak. My husband would never go in whitewater after one trip I took him on in the raft….He’s not a swimmer and the river was too swift for him. But he’ll paddle calm water, so that’s what we do now. As I’ve aged, I’ve had to ‘come to terms’ with the age-factors, so I’ve adapted.
My mom goes to a gym every other day and she does strength training exercises. She also walks 3 miles on the alternate days. She is diligent but she’s not a daredevil like I am. She is now 87 years old and she’s very fit. She’s 5’6″ and weighs 140 pounds but her doctor (a total jerk, imo) tells her to lose weight. She isn’t overweight and there isn’t a bit of ‘overhang’ anywhere on her. She’s the weight she is because she’s got muscle, not fat. Her DA doctor doesn’t seem to get that….although he keeps telling her that she’s the healthiest older patient he has. lol
My stepdad walks 5 miles a day — or he USED to, before his heart began beating irregularly and he had a pacemaker implanted. He has always been very healthy — eats sparingly, only eats chicken for meat, wont eat anything fried, no eggs, butter, or cheese (afraid of cholesterol). I thought he was so healthy, yet he almost died from a faulty pacemaker…and now his lifestyle is forever altered.
From what I’ve seen so far in my 63 years on Earth is that everyone is different and our health has a number of factors that influence us. Some people live to be 100 years of age and they’ve lived passive lives. Other people live to be 75 and exercised faithfully. Some people die prematurely through no fault of their own ( congenital defects) and some die from their aging process. Then there are those people who simply don’t care and they eat like food is going to disappear tomorrow — they grow fat, get diabetes, kidney disease, then die a slow death. We can see the correlations between age, behavior, and general health, but we can’t predict outcomes like we always believe we can. We know, in general, the differences between what is right and what is wrong, but it’s up to the individual to choose their lifestyle and how they live. I fear that our overbearing government will soon dictate how we MUST live because that “nanny state” is always trying to knock on our door.
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post. Your farm life is my dream life, and I love reading about farm life and tending to the animals needs. I’m close to your age, and I love the fact that you ride horses. I love horses, and I used to ride, but haven’t since my neck surgeries nearly 3 years ago.
Hi Terra. Any chance you could find an older horse to ride, or even arrange a ‘lesson’ every so often? When I used to take lessons, there were always the older geldings for kids to ride — their giddy-up had disappeared but they were still of use for the kiddos to begin riding on.
Or maybe you could volunteer to groom horses for someone if you don’t think you can handle riding again. You probably already realize this — It’s not always WHAT you do when you’re with the horse, but just being there with the horse that makes for a splendid time. My ‘horse therapy’ can be as simple as hugging one around the neck, or grooming one. I’m incurable…lol
Besides all the physical farm work and the building I do, I want to add that I walk two miles each day, everyday, rain (snow) or shine. Ol’ Jake and I do a morning and evening walk around the perimeter of the farm. If you can’t work out, at least work up to where you are walking 2 miles a day. I have better hiking stamina now than I did in my 40s and 50s. (As for retirement NRP, don’t do it! You’ll just be dead within 18 months. Just sorta move to a “Different line of work” that is less stressfull.)
You’re exactly right, My vision of retirement is finally having the time I need to do the ten-thousand projects I want to do, plus the Fishing/Hunting/Camping/Hiking/So-On.
I sure as heck am not one to sit on my duff and watch the No-Fans-Left Criminal football.
Not only that, Blue keeps betting me he can out hike me…. we’ll see HAHAHA, he may run faster and further, but I have him on longevity, 6 hours outside and he’s pooped, me, I have to “get things done, when the sun shines”. :-) or as I say, I may be fat & slow, but I keep going till the end of the trail”.
NRP, Yep, I know. But I also know that fat, slow and DEVIOUS, wins before the end of the trail. HeHeHe!!😇
Throw manipulative in there just for giggles nana, been overpowered by that more than a few times no matter what my physical condition
If any one here wants a good, total body workout, buy a wet suit. You could even get one a size too small and put it on and take it off twice a day. I gaurantee in no time you will be more limber and in better shape than you have been in a long time. Twice a day now and don’t cheat. I found this out the hard way when we started kayaking a few years ago. Believe me it would work, gets the heart rate up too.
Seriously, for anyone who can’t do regular exercise, sit in a chair, hold a rolling pin with both hands and starting at your feet roll the rolling pin over your whole body to touch every inch of yourself. Stand up when needed and sit down when needed. Do this twice a day. This limbers joints, stretches tendons, joints and muscles and strengthens muscles that are seldom used. Had a sports therapist tell me this years ago. Used it to rehab players that were pretty badly beat up after a bad injury. He said they always complained about it not being enough of a work out until they sat down and actually did it.
IN GOD WE TRUST
Yeah, I’ll second that one. Dry suit is mush easier. : )
I’ll third that, still have the wet-suit from the Scuba days. Hell of a work out, then a 50 min dive at 50 feet, lunch and another 1 hour dive at 20……
I had to laugh on most comments. And can relate.
And it sucks getting old. The past 10 yrs I’ve seen and felt it..the decline in ambition.
I’ve had a some sort of a part time job with the full time job for the last 20 yrs.
Hell at my good yrs. One full time one part-time job, college, and building a house, and sub coaching sons baseball team. Ohh to have that stamina again. On my feet from 5am to 10 pm. for decades and still as such. Supper ate standing up many a times. Always active but not so much a cardio type.
Farrier work, shovelin’ poo, cutting, splitting wood, working on junk…never ending.
My stubbornness won’t let me give up!; Wanna hit the weights this winter…, we’ll see how that goes!
Joe C–“And it sucks getting old”. That’s why God decided to save getting old for folks that had lived a long time, figured we were the only ones who could handle it, mentally as well as physically. Kids don’t like going slow or being quiet. By the time we hit old age we don’t mind going slow or being quiet. Personally I love it!
Whats that sayin,
Youth is wasted on the young!
Preparednana, Psalm 90:10 😉
FYI I am NOT old, I’m well preserved.
Aren’t we all. 😄
Preparednana and those that followed:::
When I was 15,I had a sever accident that pretty much laid me up for 6 or 7 months.Needless to say,I had almost zero muscles to start with. I had the determination though,and bought myself a set of weights,a weight bench,and various other exercise equiptment. I started out only able to lift just the bar and nothing else. Kept adding and pushing myself until I finally was normal. I liked working out so much,that I never quit. I went on to work construction,and the in the timber industry for 35 years. Back breaking work,but I was able to do it. I’m now almost 71(next month) and still working out and staying in shape,and hunting, fishing,yard work,gardening, etc. Feel like 41. Also kept the faith. I think that’s what helped me through. I still like that afternoon nap though.Guess that means I’m slowing down just a little.
Every person needs a “Flow Activity”. meaning an activity that one can do every single day that is not a chore but is enjoyable and sustainable. ( some days, there will be drudgery involved.). It should be affordable and it should provide some type of low impact exercise that provides satisfaction in addition to merely getting the blood flowing. For some like my sister, it is playing tennis 4 times per week. For many on this site, it involves working around the homestead, farm or ranch.
The Goal: for me is to achieve a Zen like state that brings about a sense of peace and well being while fully engaged in an activity that requires a high degree of concentration. Years ago, I began by running distance. Then I rode bicycles and climbed rocks and mountains. Now I am still practicing that level of concentration by target shooting. According to the readings of the electro encephalograms, I am getting close to that zen-like state. ( at least the last time I was tested.)
For practitioners of karate, you may want to consider a softer style as I knew a 7th dan karate master who could not hold a teacup because the arthritis in his hands was so severe. ( he used to reply it was the revenge of all the broken boards in his youth.)
I find it funny that a majority of the martial arts masters I have known have wished they were farmers instead of teachers as they thought farming or ranching was much better for their zen consciousness. So, Shepherdess and Modern Throwback may be on to the right track when they work on their homesteads.
For me, grooming animals is about as ‘zen’ as it gets. I’ve never had any livestock that doesn’t enjoy a brushing or a good rubbing….even pigs! The dairy goats would see the brush in my hand and come right to me — they knew what it meant to them.
It’s also very peaceful to be taking-it-all-in when out at the barn. Family chuckled when they learned that I like to just ‘commune’ with the goats. In sunshine, goats like to lay down and chew their cud. When they’re exceptionally mellowed out, you could hear a hum. I always loved that quiet and peacefulness when nearby. I’d stop and listen, knowing how relaxed they were in their little world at our place.
It’s just so darn nice to be outside, around nature — it’s peaceful to have a bit of time to admire the world and see how beautiful it is. There’s nothing like walking the woods after rainfall, or a fresh snowfall. You don’t need a farm, you just need to keep the eyes open and listen. :-)
MT, you captured it for me. I can’t adequately describe how the mind, body and soul feels after spending time outdoors. Many years of hours and hours outside, in the natural world, even today I can’t wait to escape to the “outside”. Thanks for writing that.
Interesting comments. As Toby Keith sang “I’m not as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I every was”. (Well, almost.) The mental desire and intensity is still there (probably too much intensity) just he gas tank runs to empty quicker that it use to and not much reserve. Same amount of work, just takes longer due to more recharge breaks. At 66 can’t complain, but some days my body feels 106 if I crank too hard, but it eventually passes. I do know I don’t bounce as well as I use to.
No shortage of physical exercise for me, as I received almost 18″ of new snowfall yesterday here in the American Redoubt, lol.
I have a walk-behind snowblower, but I find myself never using it. I prefer to use the good old-fashioned, time tested snow shovel! (I am in my 50’s, and have never felt better.)
Merry Christmas everyone. =)
For deskbound workers, brisk walking is one of the best activities but there is a limit to how much load you can carry and how far you can travel in a reasonable amount of time. A bicycle will amplify your physical performance by a factor of about three. You will be able to carry 3x the load at 3x the speed for 3x the distance.
I have just come back from a shopping trip on the bike that has given me a useful amount of fresh air and exercise, at no cost and I did something useful. There was no need for any will power to ” hit the gym” or go running, just go shopping. If “go” means “drive” then you should consider alternatives.
Whoo Hooo!! Some other Michael who likes Bicycles!!
I always get a good chuckle to the folks who PAY for a Gym Membership OR Buy some expensive Home Gym… Then they Drive to the Gym or pay someone else to shovel their snow. BUT it’s Hard to do… Each day do something a little harder and soon enough you find those Hard things easy.
Also do not me like me stretch daily not just when your in pain from being inflexible. I stretch a lot until I feel better and the forget to stretch until the pain slaps me again. Untrainable my beloved says, Untrainable. :-)