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I realized several years ago that my fitness level improves much better with a gym alternative than with a gym membership. With a gym membership, I find excuses as to why I cannot or should not go (my foot hurts, my knee is bothering me or my shoulder is angry). Without a gym, I have no excuse. Either I complete my project or I don’t.

That first paragraph sounds cryptic, but what I mean is household projects are my gym alternative. Whether it’s doing yard work or laying down kitchen tiles, there’s always a workout to be had. My latest workout involved moving rocks. Yep, rocks! What better workout is there than lifting heavy rocks, moving them from one location and placing them in another.

Pictures are worth 1,000 words. So my project was to take this:

Front Yard Project

To this:

Front Yard During

(Yes, I built those raised garden beds and filled each one with dirt. That was a whole other workout.)

To this:Rock Patio - Gym Alternative

I lifted every stepping stone, rock and pebble to make it happen. Because the stepping stones were so heavy, I used a wheelbarrow to move the stepping stones from one area to another (only 3 stepping stones per load as 4 per load was just a tad too heavy).

I grabbed the large rocks from a construction site. Rather than use a wheelbarrow, I used a 5-gallon bucket to collect the large and small rocks. That involved lots of squatting, lifting and hauling. I can’t tell you how many trips it took. No, I didn’t do it all in one day as the weather and my body wouldn’t permit it.

Household Projects – My Gym Alternative

The reason I prefer projects as a gym alternative is that I get double satisfaction. There’s the satisfaction of physical labor coupled with the satisfaction of watching a project come alive. Also, I get to use the money I would have spent on a gym membership on my various projects. Fortunately, because the rocks came from other projects and were repurposed  I spent less than $9 to create the rock patio.

Don’t get me wrong, gyms do have their place. I’ve been a member of a gym or two, but I find that as I get older, I prefer projects. And believe me, I never seem to run out of projects to do.


About the author: Felicia has learned the hard way that health, whether good or bad, is a result of daily choices and habits. On this blog Felicia shares what she’s learned and the healthier choices she now makes as a result of her new knowledge. She hopes to encourage others to experiment to find alternative solutions to nagging problems (she’s also is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment).

in Aging, Fitness
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