I have had many questions about yard work compared to exercise and other rigorous activities common to the Spring Season. I have found that the caloric expenditure in many of these outdoor activities is comparable to running, walking, and even calisthenics / weight training. The problem that many people face with seasonal "hobbies" is that a good part of the year little or no physical activity gets accomplished. That is where I come in!
Starting a fitness plan HAS to eventually become a habit that you enjoy or even moderately enjoy in order to maintain with any consistency. Many of the ideas below are adapted from the Military.com Fitness eBook Store workout plans and used to create functional fitness or "hobby fitness" routines you can use anywhere and anytime. Your exercise / health plan has to incorporate the following components.
1) Cardio Vascular Exercise:
Activities such as walking, jogging, biking, swimming, rowing a boat, climbing steps all increase the heart rate and helps improve heart and circulatory functions. Burning calories is also a byproduct of these activities. To give you an idea of what it takes to burn 100 calories (that's one cookie by the way) you have to walk 30 minutes, OR jog 17 minutes, OR rake leaves for nearly 60 minutes.
2) Resistance Training:
Weights or body weight calisthenics are great examples of muscles building and bone strengthening resistance training exercises. Lifting heavy items such as plants and bags of leaves can substitute as resistance training exercises as well burn the above cookie in about 40 minutes. Circuit training can burn the same amount of calories in 15 minutes and weight training alone can accomplish it in 20 minutes.
3) Do not Forget Number Three Which Includes:
Stretching, drinking water and eating properly. All of these must become habits for a lifestyle of health to be effective. Many people try to lose weight by only dieting and dropping the calorie intake to under 1000 calories a day with little or no exercise. The problem with "eating to lose weight" is that your metabolism drops with your weight which causes the body to quickly add weight when the dieting stops. By combining all three of the above components, you will feel better, lose weight, become more fit and healthy, and increase the metabolic rate, which will burn that 100 calorie cookie faster even when resting.
Good luck on fitting fitness into your schedule and making it a habit. Take a look at the Stew Smith article archives for great tips on exercise routines that build muscles, burn fat, and make you feel great.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Military.com Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at Military.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.