I got a BIG lawn, and a little teeny push mower. It can be a pretty brutal afternoon mowing down this “field”. So I’ve learned that the correct solution is to make it just as hard as possible.
Before you conclude that I’m some kind of a nut (which may be true 🙂 consider that there might be method to my madness. In fact, I’ll show you that by using a little bit of “mental jiu-jitsu” you can provide yourself some mighty impressive returns. Let me explain:
If you’ve got an unpleasant task to perform, wouldn’t it be better if the labor involved accomplished two objectives at once? You’ve knuckled down to it anyway, why not eliminate the need to resign yourself to physical labor once again, later? Of course you could use a rider for the lawn, and then have only one physical ordeal to perform (the workout) , but the way I see it, there are a lot of other things I’d rather do than even sitting on a riding mower for half an hour. Getting two things done at once is the smarter solution. Not only that, but you’ll find that there are some other surprising advantages to combining these two tasks.
Of course we all know that it is the total of the physical activity we perform daily that adds up to our net benefit. The experts harp on this and repeat the usual recommendations to park far from the door at the supermarket, take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc., all sorts of cute ways to ramp up the activity. But do we really take these recommendations to heart? I don’t think many people do. Because of the law of inertia, we always tend to minimize our effort spent, not maximize it. (the exception of course is when you find some sport or active recreation that you enjoy doing) So you might as well get something constructive done while you’re doing something for your body.
What surprised me was that by utilizing the chore performed as a warm up, and also a way to maintain my heart rate between sets, I’ve actually increased the effectiveness over that of my regular routine! This goes counter to what I had expected, because I thought I would be diverting necessary energy away from my workout requirements. What actually resulted was a greatly increased endurance and stamina; it in effect converted a standard routine into a high intensity one. Everyone knows the value of HIIT (high intensity interval training).
Another benefit that I really appreciated was that this tactic diminished the amount of nagging injuries associated with my working out. (this has profound meaning to a 57 year old!) Again, this went counter to my expectations. It turns out that the moderate motion of working the mower and carrying the dump bag provided a better overall warm up and stretch routine than typically done with weights or callisthenics. It was slow and natural.
So the bottom line is that your end up combining the old fashioned (physical yard work) with the new (sophisticated weight/callisthenic routines) to achieve a synergistic overall workout – and get a nagging unpleasant task (like the lawn, etc) completed in the process. Mental jiu-jitsu – work smarter, not harder. Its a win-win situation, and both victories go to YOU!