Many people who work hard manual jobs don’t think they need to go to the gym to stay healthy.
Gym memberships are still important even for those of us who work hard in our rural jobs.
I love going to my local YMCA. It’s my outlet. Most of my friendships have been made here and I look forward to getting my sweat on three – to – four early mornings per week.
We work very hard on our farm. But, every day has different tasks and I can’t always get the cardio or strength training my body needs to stay toned and strong.
How Do I Fit Gym Time In?
I hit the gym at 5 a.m. during the week and 8 a.m. on Saturdays. This leaves plenty of time to head home for a quick protein recovery drink, change of clothes, and then out to start choring and completing tasks on the farm the rest of the day.
It works out well because Matt can run his errands on Saturday mornings and then we can meet up later. The gym has child care so Mylee can come with me, although, she prefers to hang out with her daddy.
This schedule works well for us and it keeps everyone happy. Matt and Mylee get their Saturday morning chocolate milk and doughnut. I get time with my workout buddies and to blow off steam.
Why would I need the gym if I work everyday on the farm?
Let me give you a little novice fitness lesson here: Every body is different. But, at the same time, everyone needs that balance of weight training reps and cardio for 30 minutes a day. How many of you farmers just take a bale of straw and start doing 15 bicep curls?
You won’t find me doing that. No way, Jose.
The other day, I climbed to the top of our 20-foot tall feed cart. Total body workout for about 5 minutes, but you’d better believe I was not going to do those stairs 20 times!
With that said, I’ll get to the meat and potatoes now – Yes, I love meat and potatoes.
Here’s 5 Reason this farm girl hits the gym:
- The rep effect. With my weight training, I know I can fatigue those muscles to the point of change as well as get that heart rate up. Plus, I know I’m lifting safely.I teach this strength class. Maybe you’ve heard of it: Les Mills BODYPUMP. It’s an amazing class that has really sculpted my body in a way just working on the farm never ever could.
You can even do it at home by clicking the link or feel free to join a class.
In June of 2013, I was very pregnant with Mylee but still attending Zumba classes. Almost two years later, I finally reached my pre-pregnancy weight. Thanks to my gym time and my awesome friends, I achieved my goals in a timely and healthy manner. The mix of strength and cardio was the key to my successful results.
- I’m not a perfect eater. I mean, does everyone eat perfect all the time?
My family and I certainly enjoy to treat ourselves to eating out every once in a while.
If we don’t control this, though, my gym goals are sunk. A healthy diet is as important as a good workout.
Did you know the ratio of a good diet/workout is 70%/30%? It’s really mostly about the diet. Eating mostly vegetables, lean meats and whole grains will help control your weight and health without having to do many extra workouts.
With my gym workouts, it’s much easier to burn those extra calories from the foods I enjoy eating that may not necessarily be good for me. It’s still not a great plan, but it helps me control things until I feel like getting back on track.
One note on calories: It’s difficult to track calories if you aren’t on a machine. This includes any farm work you might be doing. Might I suggest a FitBit?
There’s many options out there for calories, but my FitBit Charge HR tracks steps, calories, sleep, and many other things. Yay!
- A positive environment. My YMCA is just plum full of positive people with amazing goals. I can’t even begin to describe the change it has had on my mindset.We all know how negative farm life can be sometimes. It’s nice to have a place to go who can lift you back up.
While most of my gym buddies are not farmers, many of them lend a listening ear as well, which is what I need the most sometimes. I can tell them about being up all night with a doe kidding and they are just so intrigued! I just love educating them about farm life.
- Adrenaline and energy is gained to complete tasks. My morning sweat session releases the greatest thing in the world: Adrenaline.I’ve actually been called an Adrenaline Junkie because I crave it. It makes me happy and it gives me energy. When I give my all during a workout, I can feel my body changing and that makes me happy.
Any stress I felt from the week is melted away and I feel like I can start over positively when I return home.
- Cardio plus Weights combination equals ultimate heart rate exhilaration, fat and calorie burning, and results. Everyone needs weight training to build the muscles and cardio burn the fat/calories and to keep the heart rate up.I think the main reason I have trouble finding this combination with farm work is because there is so much driving and rest in between. I need a constant level of Cardio or a constant level of reps.
On Saturday mornings, I can get both of them when I take the Zumba class and then BODYPUMP right after. I’d love to hear some ideas about how you find this cardio/weight balance while working on the farm so I can incorporate it into my week.
I do believe you can stay fit while working on the farm. It just depends on how far you want to take it. Know what your goals are and if you can get that heart rate up for 30 minutes each day.
Every body is different and some of us do need the gym. I still need the gym: For my health, mind, and body.
What is your favorite way to work out or blow off steam?