Despite the elements, we finished building our garden beds this weekend. Not an easy feat considering the ground was still soaking wet from an overnight storm. There was a lot of sliding and sinking in the mud as we completed the second layer of each frame. Forget all the heavy lifting we were doing. Trying to maintain your balance on a muddy, slippery lawn for an afternoon is tiring.
Oh, and there were the squats…lots of squats. I can’t tell you how many squats we performed. Some with body weight only, others with body weight and pressure-treated boards.
I got a full body workout and muscle soreness without the cost of monthly gym fees.
What’s interesting is I found this “workout” more practical than a 45-minute ordeal with a trainer. I mean, how often do I need to do a one-legged squat on a bosu ball outside of a gym?
Every movement I did — pulling, pushing, lifting and squatting — are things I do every day. It’s just this weekend I had “weights” (a saw, hammer, boards, shovel and dirt). I got an intense, full body workout without the whole “isolating” muscles nonsense. It was simple and functional without the cost of a gym.
I’m not dunking on personal trainers. A great trainer can turn your motivation from zero to 11. The right one can be invaluable, especially after physical therapy. My last trainer wasn’t at a gym. He was part of my rehab center’s optional post PT program. He focused on functional routines that built strength and improved balance.
For example, my trainer started with simple exercises like farmer walks with kettlebells. That strengthened my core while keeping my hips aligned with my shoulders (good posture!). Now I can easily carry groceries from my car to my kitchen without pain.
I have no doubt I am moving a lot easier thanks to his workouts.
Unfortunately, life gets in the way. My mom needed more help so started I missing sessions. Insurance doesn’t cover personal trainers and the $550+ a month was just too steep to continue.
So now I’m my own motivator.
It’s so easy to sit when my hip is hurting. And yet, I know the more I move the better I’ll feel. Getting over that initial inertia is the challenge. It took me a few months, but I finally found the mental boost I desperately needed.
Up until three weeks ago, I’d get up in the morning, walk down stairs, let the dog out back, pour myself a cup of coffee, let the dog back in, grab my iPad, have a seat and go online, then to watch some gardening videos for a couple of hours. Other than walking down stairs, nothing I did helped to loosen up those overly tight hip muscles.
This morning? I got dressed, pollinated my lemon tree, fed the dog, did my hip exercises, checked on my seedlings (checked for fungus and gnats, adjusted lights and temperature/humidity, and watered them), walked the dog in the rain, grabbed a cup of coffee and then started writing this post. I was up and moving around for more than an hour before sitting down.
I’m starting my garden indoors which, means I won’t be sitting those first two hours of every morning. Growing healthy, living plants is a strong motivation to get off my butt.
With this new morning routine, I’m training myself to turn my motivation (the garden) into a healthy habit (staying active) that lasts long after that first frost hits and wipes out the garden in the fall.
How do you motivate yourself to move more?
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