Real Family Fitness – Why Old Fashioned Fitness Really Works

These days, who doesn’t have a gadget for almost everything they do? You have a GPS for your car to tell you where to go, and preprogrammed with your house directions, work, and the nearest grocery store. Your phone is set for all sorts of schedule reminders, from daily alarm to appointments to birthdays. Even some refrigerators tell you when you’re out of milk. Technology has grown leaps and bounds, which may have its benefits, but I feel that we’ve become too dependent on it. We’ve forgotten how to read maps, listen to the radio, write snail mail, and work in a real-world setting.

I found this out the hard way while helping my friend out on her farm. Not to brag but I consider myself pretty disciplined in going to the gym. Three times a week for two hours has kept me in shape even after two kids, various pets, and a hubby who spoils me with strawberry ice cream. Then I headed to Jen’s farm and helped her with the daily chores – talk about a wakeup call! Picking up monthly hay, turning out horses, and cleaning out animal stalls really wiped me out. I realized that my elliptical machine, treadmill, and other gym favorites weren’t really working my muscles out much. So I figured I’d switch it up a bit and alternate my gym exercises with “real world” fitness. Here’s a few that I did:

  • Walked, then jogged around the neighborhood

There is nothing like a good, old-fashioned lap around the neighborhood to wake up the senses. I went in the early morning where I wouldn’t dive into too much people traffic, so I spent less time worrying about who I was going to run into. Starting off slowly by walking, I ditched the earphones because I kept bumping into the few people I passed. It also helped to extend my
workout as I wasn’t relying on the end of a certain playlist to finish my workout; taking out the ear buds also helped me to focus on my walking and jogging. After a while I was tackling the hilly parts to challenge myself more.

  • Household items as weights

Ever feel like a saddled horse after a round of groceries? I did, so I reached for items in the bag when I started my home weight training. From half-liter bottles of detergent, I slowly moved on to two liter bottles of milk. Best part is, they come with built in handles so I don’t have to worry about them slipping.

  • Kid’s toys as a fun alternative

Cleaning out my children’s toy box, I found a few items that I thought could get me into shape, and it turned out to be a whole lot of fun. I jumped rope with my daughter. I found an old hula hoop that made me giggle, but worked out well as a way to trim the hips and waist. Now if I can only get a few of my friends to play Dodge Ball with me…

  • Chores chores chores

Killing two birds with one stone, I did all the chores at home, with slimming and home improvement results. Cleaning out the kid’s rooms while jogging up and down the stairs, sweeping the attic, and trimming the lawn with a push mower, was the most exhausting but rewarding few days of my life. The house has never looked better.

  • Visiting the local pool

No membership fees, open to everyone and Olympic-sized, I headed to my local pool for what they say is one of the best full body workouts on Earth – swimming. I relearned everything from my high school gym class (freestyle laps, butterflies, the breast stroke) and it felt like a refreshing, albeit exhausting, dip in the pool. I learned to breathe underwater longer and worked
on my cardiovascular health.

Unplugging from all the exercise machines for the last month has really helped my life in so many ways. I skipped my gym membership, saved on gas and electric bills for the month and set that money aside for travel. I’ve discovered muscles that I never knew I needed to work. My husband has been complimenting my shape more than ever, our house has never looked better,
and my children now want to work out too! Next time I’m going to my friend’s farm to help out, I will be ready. Bring it on!

Maxine is a dedicated mother who believes in fitness for herself and her family to keep them healthy mentally and physically. When not with her family, she works for Treetopia, a seller of artificial Christmas trees. They sell a variety of unique and inspired Christmas trees for every style.

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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