The above image was from today’s morning activities, preparing my yard and gardens for the coming growing season. Yes, that is my shadow. Guess I should have paid more attention in my high school photography class.
You have to forgive the shaggy appearance of stuff, that’s what I did this morning, brought a winter’s worth of hibernation back under control.
That’s what I want to talk about today, how to keep your body moving and exercising in times of stress. This helps your mental outlook and keeps you back away from the ledge.
Lord knows we all have stressors right now. There are acute problems, dwelling on them doesn’t do any good. So I’ve chosen to get outside and do physical labor. It’s amazing how much you can work up a sweat by simply tilling up a garden; a side benefit is the vegetables you’ll eat later on.
And this year we need the vegetables in the garden.
Check out this article, front and center in Yahoo news this morning, the 4th of April, 2020.
What drooling idiot, I wonder, leaked this information to the press? Headlines like this create a self-fulfilling prophecy; ie news of a shortage spurs people into buying all they can before it’s gone. Look, we have enough problems as-is without this kind of thing. As I stated in my earlier piece “Victory Gardens” our logistic chain is going to be severely tested by this disease.
In short, planting a garden is not only good for the system as a whole and your stomach, it is a necessary physical outlet.
Let me tell you, if you’ve never done it, breaking sod and conditioning the soil on a new garden is an excellent whole-body workout. There is a reason most of our ancestors were rail-thin and tough as roots. Subsistence agriculture, because that’s what we’re talking about, is hard. Physically demanding, even when done on a very small scale.
But that’s OK. We need both the exercise and the food. If you have any land at all, now is the time to put in a garden. Seriously, for the reasons I have listed above.
OK, why have I posted this picture of my truck loaded down with hay?
Exercise. You gotta take it where you can find it, and getting feed for livestock is currently authorized under the emergency regulations. Lemme tell you, great exercise.
Here are some of the exercises inherent in gardening or small-scale farming.
- Weeding. Squats, hand strengthening.
- Hoeing. Workout for the shoulders.
- Tilling. Upper body and thighs, excellent.
- Mowing. Walking, upper body.
- Haying. Each bale 40-60lbs/20-30kg. Think about it.
- Feeding and watering. Lifting. Back and shoulders.
- Raking. Shoulders and back.
- Sowing. Squats.
And I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting.
So if you are down in the dumps like me, force yourself to get out there and work. There is also a mental aspect to it, and as we still have the internet there are loads of helpful resources with gardening.
But I live in a flat, you say. Well, do you have any house plants? You can actually grow potatoes and tomatoes in an apartment, seriously, and peppers… the list goes on. Google it, there are a million resources. There are also those who say that plants help your mood; there could be some truth to this.
Exercise and mental engagement now equals a better operating position later.
Set yourself up for success.