We all know that exercise is imperative to our long-term wellness. So many of us (myself included) spend countless hours working in front of a computer, with no real physical activity during the day. With a busy life it is easy to find excuses not to exercise. How can I take time out of my day to go to the gym when there is a house to clean, clothes to fold, and dinner to make? But what if we took those excuses and turned them into the wellness plan?
On the homestead, we tend to have a bit more work than what I would assume is normal, but normal household chores can turn into a great workout. This week in Wisconsin we received about a foot of snow. Clearing the driveway turned into a nice way to get moving. Using the snow blower gave us about 30 minutes of walking. I also shoveled giving myself a great upper body and core workout. I always challenge myself to dig out the end of the driveway where the plows push mounds of snow in. Breaking up the packed snow and throwing it into piles that are over my head always gets the heart pumping.
In the summer I also choose to push mow our grass and turn over the garden beds by hand. These again are two chores that provide a great workout. I could use a riding mower or a rototiller but this way the task is done, and my body was made stronger.
Even simple things like parking a little further away, going up and down the stairs a few extra times, or standing when you could be sitting, all add up and help us get into the habit of becoming more active.
And lastly, while doing these chores, do them with a heart full of gratitude. If we grumble and complain while working our hearts turn cold and we resent the work we are doing, making the work out less effective. It has been proven that practicing gratitude increases happiness. So as you are cleaning your home feel the gratitude of having a safe warm place to live. As you cook your meals give thanks that you have enough to eat. And anytime you are able to move your body, for work or play, be thankful that you were blessed with this life and have the ability to move and feel and enjoy each moment, because that is what true wellness is all about.