Archive for the ‘yard’ Category

How about these two tips for a healthier lifestyle.

1. Park far away. Let those other lazy louts fight it out for the spot next to the handicap space and ten feet from the main entrance. Park your car on the opposite side of the lot. Not only is it healthier to walk the extra distance across the Wal-mart parking lot, it will lessen the stress of fighting for a parking space close to the door.

Want to go the extra mile? Ditch the cart, it’s for wimps and the elderly.  Try carrying that 40lbs bag of dog food and that 25lb package of cat litter to your car.

2. Turn yard work into a workout.  Sure working around the yard already burns calories, but you can make it burn more.  For example, my most recent back yard jobs involves hauling rocks from one side of the yard to the other.  I was using a wheel barrel, but it broke due to the weight of the rocks.  So what am I doing now?

Well I ditched that broken wheel barrel and put those two kitty litter buckets to use.  Consequently, hauling rock has become a full body workout.   How so you ask?!

  1. Shoveling gravel into the empty buckets involves the lower back, the abs, and the arms.  It takes about 8 to 9 shovels full of gravel (about 3-4lbs per shovel full) to fill one bucket.
  2. Then picking up both buckets and carrying them to the desired location is the equivalent of a farmers walk with 40-50 lbs in each hand.  For extra credit focus on form and try not to let your shoulders droop.  If you feel like it throw in a few shrugs between points A and B.
  3. I Set down those buckets and I am very careful not to let them just spill on the ground.  I pick one bucket up to waist level as I would in a dead lift and empty it by carefully turning it over with both hands.  Can you say upper body workout?  Repeat with the second bucket.

When all is said and done I moved 40 bucket loads.  So that equates to 320 shovels full of gravel (well over a thousand pounds of gravel according to my math), about twenty farmer’s walks across the yard with 80-100 lbs total in hand, and 40 reps of emptying those buckets.

Yard work can make an excellent exercise if you think it through and try to turn simple yard chores into exercises that you are familiar with.

***Here is the caveat.  Always talk with a doctor before beginning or attempting a new fitness regimen.   I am not responsible if you try any of the crazy hair brained workouts I use on a day-to-day basis that are contained in this post.***

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Sorry for the blog silence.  I have spent the last three days ripping out an ugly Tiki Bar from the living room of my home.

bar-front.jpg  bar-side.jpg

Ugly, isn’t it?  That ungodly abomination was taking up quite a bit of space in my living room.

I will probably be off line for the next few days.  On Monday normal blogging activities will resume.

Well today was yet another long day of yard work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here is the evidence of a long day spent at work. Not to mention some building projects that even a guy like me- with two left thumbs- can complete.

Entertainment: This was based on a circular I got at Home Depot. This is a pretty neat ring toss. You can make everything from the rings to the wood posts for less than $25 bucks.

Rings
yard-work-may-28-032.jpg

The posts are just 4X4’s cut into 1 foot, 1.5 foot, and 2 foot lengths. Drill two holes in the bottom of each post and slide in a piece of 6 inch (or one foot) rebar. Hammer those suckers into the ground and presto.

The rings are even easier to make. Just by some clear plastic or vinyl tubing, fill the tubing with sand, and secure the ends together (forming a circle) with colored electrical tape. Home Depot sells multi-colored packs of electrical tape for about $2.50.

Total Time Invested: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes.

Beautification: Okay, I decided to try my hand at making a see through planter. I bought a bunch of scrap wood from Home Depot for about $12 bucks and some L-brackets and screws (about $4 bucks).

Planter

It is my first try. It still needs to be sanded down and treated for the outdoors. Otherwise, not bad for a first try with throw away wood scraps.

Total Time Invested: 2 Hours

Grunt Labor: Nothing pretty about this one. I hauled about 25 wheel barrels full of gravel from one side of the yard to the other. Boring, hard, and heavy work.

Gravel Pit

That section you see- the area covered by sand and dirt- was covered in gravel 4 to 6 inches deep. I moved ALL of that. My back and shoulders (not to mention core) are all well worked out from the twisting while shoveling and the wheel barrel hauling.

Total Time Invested: 3 hours

Beautification: We have given up on our water fountain. First of all it has a crack in it, and second it is ridiculously expensive to run. So we decided to just fill it up with top soil and grow some annual and bulbs in there.

Fountain planter

And that isn’t tall grass in front of it, those are wild flowers.

Total Time Invested: 35 Minutes

Well, you might be asking what the big surprise is at this point. Wait no longer. After a full days work and plenty of hydration (not to mention ample meals and snacks) I stepped on the scale to discover that I weighed 169.8lbs. Sweet!

172.6 lbs- farewell 174 plateau.  Triple Boo-Yah! 

More to come (later)

Today my main pieces of exercise equipment were a rake and shovel.  I finally got tired of the back drive and walk being covered in leaves and dirt so I did something about it.  It took close to four hours of shoveling, raking, and leaf blowing.  The end result, I am now more tan and more exhausted.

I might throw in a short weight workout before bed.  Nothing extravagant.  Just some simple dumbbell movements.

As far as nutrition goes, I have eaten well today.  A fruit and yogurt shake in the morning with a whole wheat waffle; dark chocolate almond bar for a snack; small personal size serving of organic pizza; afternoon snack of whole wheat pretzels; and for dinner slow cooker steak with potatoes and veggies (and v8 Fusion veggie drink).  I think I will also have some carrots before bed.