As you’ve heard me talk about recently, our oldest daughter, Hailey, is getting married this weekend to the love of her life. We are all very excited…and busy!
In the name of “margin” for last minute wedding details, I asked my good blogger friend, Amy Walker of “Homestead Revival“ if she could help me out with a guest post. I was overjoyed when she agreed!
Amy stepped into the world of homesteading a little over 12 years ago when she embarked on a food journey that took her on new adventures in gardening, keeping chickens, beekeeping, learning about goats, and many more fascinating things. Her desire is to become God-sufficient and pass on her love for homesteading to her three daughters and then next generation!
It’s hard to ignore the fact that as we age, homesteading can be harder and harder on the body. Sure you’re getting a workout lifting bags of feed, hauling buckets of water, or hoeing a row. But unless you’re doing it consistently and with plenty repetitions, you’re not going to be physically fit enough to prevent an injury. Sure those farming on a larger scale may be getting the workout they need, but most homesteaders are getting less of a work out. With only a hit and miss routine, it’s easy to pull a muscle or find yourself huffing and puffing as you perform a necessary task.
On the other hand, who has time if they’re homesteading?! Seriously, I feel like I don’t have enough hours in my day as it is. Or perhaps it’s really that I don’t have the energy I use to and I find that I’m taking more frequent breaks? What I have noticed is that on the mornings I do a little aerobic workout along with some stretching, I get a lot more done. I feel better and I’m perky. My body doesn’t ache as much and I feel younger. I’ve also notice that I don’t pull a muscle as easily when I’m working out regularly.
So how do I work in an exercise program into my weekly regime? Early, regularly, and briefly.
First, I find that if I haven’t taken a walk outside and tackled some hills or climbed on the treadmill before 9 a.m., it just isn’t going to happen. By that time, other things can’t wait and I’m behind even if I try to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise. So going to bed early is always a goal for this night owl in order for me to get up just a little bit earlier to work out. And because we sit down together for breakfast with devotions, it’s best if I’m done by 7:30 or earlier.
Second, if I don’t stick with a regular routine of at least 3 days a week, it’s too easy to quit. In addition, it’s harder on my body when it’s hit-and-miss. Being consistent is much kinder on my heart, muscles, and joints in general, not to mention it helps me to keep a regular morning routine.
Third, I try to keep my workout long enough to do the job, but not so long as to cut into my day. Forty-five minutes is about all I need to walk, stretch, and do sit-ups. Once in a while I’ll add a new stretch to my program or I’ll alternate with a few weights, but if I keep it moving quickly, I can get more in during a shorter period of time.
Often in the past I would want to listen to some radio show, but didn’t have the extra time – and it felt extravagant to do nothing but just sit and listen. So now I use this time to multi-task by listening to an archived podcast on a homesteading program, prepping topic, a sermon or a CD of something I want to learn while I’m exercising. This helps take my mind off my body telling me it’s tired, hurting, or lazy. And knowing I’m learning something makes me feel like I’m using my time well.
Years ago, when our ancestors pioneered and settled the land, they never considered a exercise program. I suspect that they walked more and did more manual labor without power tools so that they actually did get a pretty decent workout. It would have seemed ridiculous when life was harder raising all your own food without a back up like the grocery store. And many didn’t live as long due to accidents, disease, or some other malady that doctors where unequipped to treat.
Today, the average life span has greatly increased and with more baby boomers entering into homesteading, it would be a shame to give up on our dreams of homesteading when we reach our Golden Years because our bodies can’t handle the work. Not everyone is blessed with health that allows them to garden up to the last minute of their lives here on earth, but perhaps more of us could homestead longer if we did a little body management along with animal husbandry!