“Wood warms you many times” my friend said when we first got our wood stove. So true! We had a truckload of wood delivered yesterday and I was “warmed” for the first time by this wood while stacking it into piles in the wood shed.
Whether you are preparing your wood for winter, raking leaves, cleaning your home, or running around after your kids, you might wonder – does this count? It must! I am tired after. I worked up a sweat. My muscles are sore. Look how many steps I got! This must count for exercise. Surely I don’t need to go to the gym on top of all of this, do I?
I had these questions in mind as I stacked wood yesterday. I did my strength training in the morning. Did I need to do that if I was stacking wood in the afternoon?
While stacking wood I could keep some of my attention on my body, but not all. I had to pay attention to the job I was doing. Knowing the days are getting shorter, I felt the pressure together this job done, so was driven push through fatigue and discomfort in order to get it done. Fortunately, once it is done, I will not need to do it again until next year!
The word exercise means “something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill”. Remember from a few blogs ago the qualities that make something an exercise:
My strength training was structured into my schedule, every other day in the mornings. It is done consistently year round, because I want the benefits all year long. The exercises I do are purposeful with movements of daily life that I want to get and stay strong – squatting, climbing, lifting overhead, pulling, pressing. The sets, reps and weights are chosen for the purpose of strengthening my body and metabolism.
Compare this with stacking wood. Structured only by the need for wood so I do it for about a week once a year. (unless someone else decides to start doing it or I get rid of the wood stove). It is only consistent for that one week of the year. (thankfully!). It is purposeful, but not for the purpose of strengthening my body even if that is a side effect for that one week. The purpose is to get the job done so that I can stay warm this winter.
So, is stacking wood (or something like it) exercise? Nope. It is not consistent, purposeful or structured enough to keep my body strong all year long. Is it still a great physical activity that will give me health benefits from moving more? Yes! Both add to health and well-being. Both are important… but one does not replace the other.
Strength training consistently and purposefully made stacking wood easier.
The extra bonus is, exercise “warms” me up too!
Keep Moving, Be Well,
These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.
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