Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keeping Fit, The Homestead Way

This morning as I was going about the tasks at hand I thought a bit about folks going to the gym at my age to work at maintaining muscle strength and I had a bit of a chuckle to myself.   You see, I use bowls made of pottery for mixing and cast iron skillets and pots for most of my cooking.  I do have copper pans and some of those are quite heavy too.  So here I was mixing up the stuff for cornbread this morning in a smaller mixing bowl that weighs 4 lbs empty.  I hold it in one hand and use the other hand for beating the batter with a whisk.  Oh It gets transferred to my right hand when it comes time to pour it in the skillet.  Ahhh, the skillet.  That's cast iron and I heat it nice and hot in the oven first, then swirl some melted fresh butter in it, holding it in my hand and moving it in a circular motion to get the butter everywhere.  Then fill it with the batter, adding more weight to it and pop it in the oven.  I don't much need to stand there mindlessly doing "reps" when I am spending half an hour or more using weights that come in the shape of bowls and pans !  Then after all is said and done, these items have to be washed and there is another set of "reps".   After Emery heads off to work and he has had his share of weight lifting this morning, hauling in wood for the stove.  Lots of it, its a cold morning, in the 20's F.  Now its time building that fire....feeding the hungry stove is another set of "reps".  Just for fun I weighed the average log I lift from the wood rack and they are about 3 lbs average.   The stove holds about three of those at a time on such a day as today and its not long burning logs at that.
Thinking about making candles the other day made me think about aerobic arm movements.  Each pair of candles requires about 32 dips into the wax.  I made a dozen pairs.  384 dips !  There is lots of movement making the candles.  Laundry time is another work out.  The washer is automatic, but hauling those wet clothes out to the line is heavy work and then hanging each item up, two clothespins each, and I purposely make it so I have to take a few steps for each item hung up.  I don't keep the basket close.  The whole thing repeats itself when they are dry, with a bit more action just in folding them.   Once a week or so, there is some kind of serious heavy work, like hoeing the garden, hauling in a 50 lb sack of feed or some other job that requires some extra workout.   Scratch the electric can opener and open up some mason jars that sealed extra tight and that will keep your hand strong !  
No gym membership for me, I just use weights at home.  No light weight plastic bowls in my kitchen and no bread machines.  My arms do the work of kneading the bread and my muscles stay strong from using crockery and pitchers for water and milk made of heavy pottery.   Life is good living old fashioned.  Working out without even having to think about it. 


Kathy said...

How true! You are getting quite a work out every day!

Echoes From the Hill said...

I do the same, when I hang laundry, on the lines. I keep the basket at one end of the lines, and start hanging laundry from the other end.
My house has two stories and a basement, so I spend a lot of time running upstairs and downstairs. Keeps a body is shape.
I used to have long hair, and French braided it every morning. That kept my inner arms toned. Things we don't think about, as exercise, can really ad to our overall health.

Great post!

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