It’s been a little while since I gave any fitness advice, so let’s do this.
In short, my advice is to mix it up.
The long version? Funny you should ask.
I shared with you a few weeks ago about how sore I was after scrubbing the bathroom in my Grandpa’s new room at Dad’s. There is no machine at the gym that replicates the motions and muscles used when scrubbing on your hands and knees. Know what else the gym doesn’t have? A lawn mower.
Drew mowed the backyard before/after we put the pool up on Sunday. We needed a clean slate, so he did is really quick. He could have done the front yard, too, but decided to save it for another day so that he could come inside and hang with us. Monday was our anniversary, so I knew he was going to have to mow the front yard when he got home yesterday. Mandy to the rescue!
I asked Alex if she wanted to help and she gave an eager “Yes!” with her computer. I buckled her into her stroller, parked her in a spot where she would be safe but we could still see each other. She was my cheerleader… waving from across the yard, laughing when the mower bogged down and laughing some more every time I had to restart it.
Here’s the kicker. As I was started the mower I thought about the machine at the gym that is an awful lot like pulling the cord to start the mower. Perhaps my cord pulling muscles were prepared for the task, but that’s about the extent of my muscle preparation. The grass was so thick and tall (not to mention still a little wet from all the rain) that I had to go super slow, tilt the mower back often and stop to pick up sticks that had been hiding on my first stick picking mission. I actually felt pretty awesome and capable during all of this. I figured that my efforts may as well count as exercise, so I put my armband on before I started. FYI, mowing the front yard, one time in it’s entirety, is half a mile. It took my 45 minutes, but it is still half a mile.
Fast forward to this morning. My core (back/stomach) is aching this morning. I think it must be from the pushing and pulling of the mower. There is definitely not a machine at the gym that could fully prepare me for the art of yard mowing!
Back to my point… mix it up. I like the treadmill and about once a week I use the strength training machines. Alex and I w2alk when the weather is pretty. It’s easy to get in a rut and do the same things over and over. Any activity is good good, but if you are doing the same thing every day then you are shorting yourself. Mix it up. Mow the yard. Scrub the bathroom. Walk a different route (add some hills, etc.). Try a new class or new DVD at home. Mix it up.
By the way, Drew thinks I’m a rock star for mowing the yard.
I’ve been thinking about the health coach thing again. I’m still very interested in the pursuit of health and being a coach/cheerleader for others, but it’s not the time. It is still swimming around in my thoughts and we will just see what happens. For now I am completely content to keep pursuing my own health. God knows I have a long way to go.
Alex seems to be over her short lived bug. I don’t even know if it was a bug or just a fluke incident. Whatever it was, she only threw up once (Monday), slept 16 hours and woke up feeling better. She seems completely like herself this morning. I even changed the button in her tummy. The doctor originally told us to change it every 3 months, but insurance only covers a button ($250+ each) every 6 months. I called medical supply yesterday and they are ordering a new one for us, so I went ahead and used the one we had. I don’t like to be without an extra button, since we’ve been in that position before and found ourselves with a damaged button and no replacement. The new one should be here soon, so I changed her old one out today. She’s awesome, in case you didn’t know. It’s isn’t really a painful thing, but also not a fun thing. She laid still, let me change them out and then cheered when I was done. Hey, Daddy, chances are she is going to show you her shiny new button when you get home.
On a side note, insurance will not cover the expense for the Goodnights Bed Mats that I mentioned last week. The medical supply gal told me they are too expensive. Yeah, I know, that’s why I wanted insurance to cover them! It doesn’t even pay to buy them in bulk. They are just plain old expensive. Well, about a dollar a pad. If you don’t think that’s expensive then you should stick a dollar bill under your bum before bed every night, wake up in the middle of the night to throw it away, put a new one under your bum and then throw that one away in the morning. See? I told you. To those of you who have found the $4 off coupon for us… thank you!