We know how it feels when you’ve bought all the equipment, workout clothes and memberships in town but you never seem to find the urge to exercise. We’ve been there. It’s a frustrating cycle, knowing that you have all the things you need to get fit and yet, you’re stuck in front of your television eating chips… again.
Someone once gave me this piece of advice: “If you’re feeling down and out, do something for other people.” When you are doing something for somebody else, when another person is depending on you, it’s more difficult to say no or succumb to laziness. I’ve found that this principle also works when it comes to personal fitness. There are many ways to get fit, other than doing the exercises you do by yourself or at the gym.
So how do you feel about manual labor? Before you close this browser, here us out first.
There are always of people or places in your community that needs help. An elderly couple that needs help in mowing their lawn, a new family that’s moving in or a river that needs cleaning. You may think that these activities can’t really be considered as exercise – but they are. After all, exercise is defined as any activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. There is nothing in that definition that says you have to avail of a gym membership to get fit!
Moving pieces of furniture from the house to the truck, shoveling snow or walking the highway to pick up trash are equitable to weight lifting or being on the treadmill for an hour because they require physical effort on your part. Did you know that even simple household chores such as scrubbing the filth off bathroom tiles or vacuuming can be considered as exercise?
You can be surprised how much calories you can burn doing manual labor!
Gather your friends who are equally tired of their fitness ruts and organize a group like the people of Huntington, West Virginia with their Adopt Your Block: Be A Litter Gitter program where neighbors volunteer their free time every week to rid the streets of litter. Instead of talking a 5K walk by yourself, make it a 10K with your girls while picking up trash!
You don’t need any special skills or equipment to move furniture – all you need is to offer a helping hand. The physical benefits only come second because t he best part about doing manual labor is the feeling you get knowing that you’ve helped others. It will foster a spirit of camaraderie and social responsibility in the community as well. After all, would you litter in the park after you helped cleaned it last week?
So the next time you feel like you can’t run that mile, do it for others and go further!