Staying in shape in winter

milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)December 30, 2012

Every spring I tell myself I won't let myself get out of shape next winter. Well, I'm already out of shape now and I dread those first few weeks of spring knowing I will be stiff and sore.

I have often wondered if there are exercises for gardeners. I've even thought of using weighted down garden tools to exercise with (and fantasize that I'm actually digging in the dirt).

I know this is probably not the forum for exercise, but at the same time I think every one of us here finds gardening to be good for the soul as well as good for the body.

So has anyone here found a way to keep in shape for using the garden fork or spade or pulling weeds?

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I walk everywhere in the winter, to the doctor, the barber, the supermarket. I have left two huge piles of leaves to stuff into 55 gallons garbage bags, drive to the orchard, drag through the snow, and distribute. That will be a good 10 hrs of exercise all told. I am starting another 1000 lbs of mushroom logs, although this requires a little care as my garage is only just above freezing. Still, the logs need one day of soaking, drilling and inoculating, and careful stacking under a tarp. Maybe 8hrs of work. Of course, getting under the hoop houses for harvest is real work. Once the ground unfreezes, I have to dig around the orchard (400 ft) to bury the fence, to plant the posts of the electric fence, and to prepare the holes for planting.

Winter sowing outside (under a tent, with lots of water containers for thermal ballast) is just around the corner. I will start early this year because I have 20 shrubs, 25 fruit trees, and 100 willow cuttings to pre-pot later. I currently grow sunflower shoots inside. I postponed a number of house improvements until January. I made 40 gallons of beer with two buddies.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:08PM
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I garden year round --so there is no off season. That said, you probably shouldn't have to do anything special. Walking after meals to keep up general vitality, at the very least, is a good idea. When the time comes to get back to work, start out slow and stop after a while. Don't feel like you have to get everything done all at once.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Hi, funny you should ask about this. It is important, actually very important, to keep fit both physically and mentally. Trust me on this one, 2012 was not a shining year for me health-wise, and I'm making a tremendous effort to repair past damage.

Just trying to get outside and doing something helps. We have only had 2 snows deep enough to require cleanup, but unless it's extreme, I am foregoing the plow and snow blower for the shovel. Also, other things such as pruning later on come to mind as weather permits.

I vowed this was the winter I would not just sit, so I bought myself a Surly "fat bike" - 3.75" wide tires specifically designed for snow, and it is quite a workout. Also bought a pair of XC skis and a pair of snowshoes. I'm ready, bring it on, that and my gym membership and fitness classes will hold me until spring breaks.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:25PM
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That, too. I gave away my snow blower. Shovel only for me. It is a 20 minutes thing but it is something.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 1:29PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I don't worry about getting sore. Some of that is hard to avoid when doing something new or different. What I worry about is heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. That's why I've worked out 10-12 hrs a week for 52 years. That and plenty of fruits and vegetables are the backbone of my wellness plan.

Hiking up and down steep, beautiful country is the best exercise I do for both mind and body. Down here we can hike all winter. In fact it's better now than any other time of the year.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 3:53PM
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milehighgirl, Instead of imagining, you can come out and dig manure out of barns any day you would like. I won't even charge for the excellent training program. It is probably only a 6 hr drive. Grin

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:20AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I jog in the winter. Once it goes below 0F.,, my face gets numb, especially if there is wind.

I like winter. Great resting period from the nonstop go go go in spring/summer/fall. Plus spring in Wisconsin is amazing when it turns from ugly brown to lush green... With global warming, winters probably will continue to stay mild.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Paddle tennis! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:49AM
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I AM in shape - round is a shape!
I've been told that I have the body of a god - Buddha!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 11:49AM
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