FF: The Elizabeth Edition

by Elizabeth on June 8, 2012

Above, you will find an accurate representation of my new fitness plan.

It involves a revolutionary new way of concentrating very hard on what you could be doing, if you could only get your lazy carcass off the ground, where inertia has actually started to graft your tailfeathers to the pavement below.  Considering the effort it will eventually take to unmeld your molecules from the concrete, it’s actually very effective, in a slackerly kind of way.

At least five reps a day of complete and total inactivity later, and you, too, can have abs of steel.  Or asphalt.

I’m pretty sure I’ve taken this up for two (really good) reasons:

First of all, it’s hot.  We’re not talking fan-your-face and thank-all-things-Holy for air conditioning hot, either.  We’re talking randomly bursting into flames hot.  After all, it’s summer now.  These things happen out here on the Plains.  Heat happens.

Secondly, nearly all my available time, which is considerable, has been spent on sticking my hands in copious amounts of dirt.  Presumably, this is to make food out of seeds, and which, while appearing easy by the seed packet instructions (plant in rows 2″ apart, water, full sun), it actually includes a whole lot of stuff they never tell you about.  Like weeding, and tilling up the ground, and digging out things that have been destroyed by what most people think are cute and fuzzy bunnies, but are actually demonspawn.  Even watering is action-packed, especially when your hose weighs two billion pounds and must be dragged all across creation in order to bring the water from there to here.

Between those two factors, I’ve spent almost no time even thinking about the gym, much less actually going.  My bike, which was sure it’d finally get out of the garage and get some playtime once the snow stopped, keeps eyeing me sidelong and cursing the hoe.

There’s good news, though.

I was, I admit, feeling a little huffy about not having all that much energy left over after sweating my tail off in the dirt for a couple hours each day.  (And it has been a couple hours each day most days.)  I mean, how lazy did I really have to be in order to be too tired to go to the gym?  Like, really, Self.

And then I did some reading.

Apparently, gardening burns about 140 calories every fifteen minutes.  (I’ve seen that range all the way from 300/hour to 560/hour, depending on what you’re doing out there in the dirt.)  Considering that the little calorie burner dealie on the high-techified stationary bike at the gym says I don’t burn that much per hour during a ride, it was a pretty awesome thing to find out.

In addition, you’re also strengthening joints and increasing muscle flexibility…all those things that they say are uber-important for exercise to accomplish.  And judging from how sore I am the day after a long garden day, I think I may even be getting more out of it than I did at the gym, minus the stretchypants and time spent listening to audiobooks.  (Which, I suppose, I could use at the garden, too, but trust me…nobody really wants to see me rockin’ out to the iTunes in stretchypants.)

I’m still heading back to the gym, I’m sure.

I mean, I paid for it and all.  And there will come a time when the garden doesn’t take this much muscle-power.  When things are growing and all I’m doing is watering and pulling up Creeping Jenny a few times a week, and it’s hotter than Hades in heat out there.  It’s nice to know I’ve got some other options if I can’t be outside.

For now, though, I’m going to continue expending the energy doing things that have a payoff that’s greater than just sweating for a smaller tush.  I’m making food while I’m getting that smaller tush instead.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina June 9, 2012 at 12:57 am

Hehe I planted creeping jenny on purpose… but its in a flower pot


Elizabeth June 9, 2012 at 1:41 am


(Because it totally WILL. That stuff is evil and persistent and may be there with the cockroaches as the only living things after a nuclear attack. Seriously.)


Amber June 9, 2012 at 1:45 am

LOL Can’t believe you didn’t know gardening was exercise! Bahahaha!


gemmy1 June 9, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I’m currently importing topsoil into my nifty new raised beds, one shovelful at a time. My arms tell me, “why, yes, you are working hard,” and each half bed full seems to require a day to recover (since each half bed requires 9 push buckets full of dirt, each bucket holding 15 shovels and being pushed 25 yards to get to the bed. Then the raking and all…yeah, I haven’t been wanting to Zumba either. I have been toting the iPod to the garden, though, and listening as I shovel and weed and plant. The audiobooks are wonderful. Of course, if the heat continues here in Michigan, I’ll be heading to the Y just to jump in the pool and be blissfully immersed. I need a waterproof iPod holder…listening to some music while swimming laps would be wonderful. Think I’m heading to google now.


Theresa June 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm

sometimes I miss my gardens in Michigan, and then I remember the weather…keep cool!


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