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Outdoor Full Body Workouts

When we think of full body workouts we usually think of exercise activities that are either done solely at the gym, in an arena or by exercising outdoors. Even my website discusses the usual ways to exercise and stay in shape, but there are other ways that you can get a really effective full body and strength training workout without realizing it. I am going to look at exercising the body at home in a different way. By this I mean doing physical work in your backyard or garden. These are things anybody can do and at any age or any gender. A friend of my family, she’s in her nineties and she still does her own yard work and gardening. Of course she is the rare exception, but if you take care of yourself you will end up feeling healthy and strong even in your senior years.

In the past, our ancestors carried on various physical activities during their lives and our bodies evolved over time to handle it. What they ate was required to provide them with the energy to accomplish these physical tasks. Nowadays, most people have jobs that involve little or no physical activity. We end up eating more than we need to, the calories from this extra food indulgence don’t get used by our body and people end up being obese, overweight and contracting various health problems. This is why eating properly and incorporating regular exercise or physical activity in any form is important in our daily lives.

What I like about spring, besides the fact that I can now finally enjoy the warmer weather and feel that it’s getting closer to summer, is that I can do a little work outside. I do the same in the fall but cleaning up for the winter is not the same. Anyway, when the job is done I feel good physically and I know that I have gotten in an extra full-body workout for my body and mind (mind you of a different type). They may not be as intensive as my gym workouts but since any work outdoors takes a considerable amount of time it does amount to a good, physical workout.

Also, you may consider outdoor work as a chore but it need not be. If you look at the benefits you get from working outside in your garden, it just adds another way to get a workout in. Let’s take a look at some examples:

Beginning with shoveling, for this activity alone you are using your legs, arms (which includes biceps, triceps and forearms), back and shoulders. If you have to throw the dirt to the side, you get a good obliques workout in.

If you have a wheelbarrow and you have to transport soil or even concrete dividers over a short or longer distance or over a little rough terrain, you are getting an incredible workout. Here you are using your legs, arms, shoulders, back and mid-section for support. Just by lifting and lowering the wheelbarrow you are actually doing the shoulder shrug exercise without realizing it. By moving the wheelbarrow you are engaging your legs and glutes as well as your core for support.

As for planting, you are primarily using your legs, especially in the squat position plus some twisting, turning and leaning over.

If you are chopping wood for your fireplace, here is another full body activity. It has been mimicked and greatly modified with an exercise at the gym or home gym called the Woodchopper exercise or variations thereof, a great rotational exercise for the lat muscles as well as the obliques and legs. It can be done on the cable machine or with free weight plates.

Like with all physical activities it is important to do things properly to avoid injury as when lifting heavier or heavy objects, you should always bend at the knees to avoid the strain on your back which is form and technique.

There are many more physical activities that you can perform and all use more than one muscle group, and that is how our bodies have evolved over time to work. Even when working out with weights on a specific body part at the gym you are in fact using many muscles since secondary muscles are always being used to perform the task.

When doing any work outdoors or gardening, you may be doing any one of these activities or a combination of these activities. Just remember to take it at your own pace and to perform each task safely and properly. Outdoor tasks are all great full body and strength training workouts that most people don’t even realize they are doing and I wanted to highlight in this article. Plus, it’s a great way to get some extra physical activity in during the spring to lose any extra pounds, strengthen the muscles and tone the body for the summer.



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