Farm Tough: Fitness on the Farm
You have heard the phrase: Farm tough. This phrase bring a different thought to my mind than the equipment to which the slogan is tied, the more and more that we do to start up our farm operation, the more I realize how physical fitness is playing a role in our farming/ homesteading. At least the way that we do it, it is very demanding work. We have no equipment as of now, so manure is shoveled by hand and the garden is worked by hand as well.
Physical Fitness (Photo credit: Justin Liew)
You may be asking: where is this coming from? Or : ” why is this the topic today?” Well if you knew me well, you would understand what ADD means. Since I hurt my back shoveling manure last night (literally not figuratively), this topic is on my mind for today.
Throughout the past year, I have been focusing more and more on fitness. Last winter, I had a reconstructive surgery on my right ankle due to a frayed tendon. The recovery period went well, but seemed to drag on and on. So with my desire to farm coupled with my prepper-type mindset, I began to think about what physical fitness meant to me on a practical level.
It was about this time that our five year old son got lost during a parade. (That saga is another story all together.) After running around in a virtual panic looking for him, I was relieved to finally track him down with the help of coworkers and some of our area’s finest police force. For about a week after that ordeal, it occurred to me that I no longer was noticing my ankle. If you have ever had a lingering injury that statement will make sense. If not, let me just say that an injury to the body that is chronic in nature will be ever present in your mind. Anyway, I decided to start jogging for exercise. Now it became a challenge to see how much I could improve. After sticking to this practice for about a month, I noticed some changes. I felt better overall. I had better muscle tone in my legs. My ankle was getting stronger and more flexible.
So back to the point. I began to think about this as more practical than simply being in shape. I thought of it as another way of practical preparation. It can’t hurt to be in good shape, right? I think it is important to work on strength, flexibility, and caridiovascular health. I am currently doing the P90X program, which focuses on all three. (I am not doing the nutrition plan for whatever that is worth) Throughout the day, I also get some exercise in at work and around the farm. I am hoping that hay baling season will not come as a total shock to my body.
I hope to be in better shape for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Hopefully, I have made some changes in lifestyle that will benefit me long term.
As an addendum, it is now January 7th, 2013 and I have taken a step back. I need to refocus on diet and exercise to stay fit for the upcoming season. I have gotten into a rut after training for a 5K race in the fall. After the race, I took time off in order to rest my weary knees. This time off kept dragging on and on. I found excuse after excuse, then I got this nasty flu bug for a week….and so on. So it is time for me to get back out there and get fit. I need to shed these ten pounds that I have seemed to pick up over the last three months (I LOVE ICE CREAM). By resisting my cravings and disciplining my body, I will once again be physically fit: FARM TOUGH!