Writing Fitness Revisited

So, way back when, I did this post on gardening and how it was very good for your fitness. I stand by that, but I want to add a caveat and change my mind about a few things. Gardening is great, but it does require a certain base level of fitness.
For example, my gardening has looked like this over the last two months:
·         prune 1-2 metres squared of bush
·         weed 1 square metre of garden using weeder and hands
Days 4-7
·         sore back, resting
Days 8-10
·         walk for a half hour once or twice a day.
Days 11+
Not sure what happened when. I did a few days walking, interspersed by resting and, in the new year, I braved the garden again. I composted—and I’ll blog on that another time. I then headed out with a garden fork and took to about three-square metres of weed-ridden clay-riddled soil, completely forgetting to take before and after shots.
By the end of that, the soil was turned, I’d forked through two 60-litre garbage bins of mulchy compost and had pain high in my back, at the neck-line. So, again, I rested and did some walking.
Two weeks later, I dug out two two-foot square x 1.5 feet deep holes and planted a lime tree and a lemon tree.
A week after that, I planted out two small bromeliads, three lavenders (two cuttings and a transplant) and a herb basket that was going tatty. It wasn’t exactly where I wanted to put the sage, but it was plant them or lose them, and they’ll provide contrast for the broms and the irises.
And this week, I bought a blood orange, two ‘flame’ daisy plants, a woolly bush and some pretty little flowery things for colour. I also went to sword training, and discovered that there are some muscle groups the gardening doesn’t cover as well as the sword (biceps, for example).
I planted the blood orange a week after that, but the woolly bush and the flame daisies are still waiting, as the shoulder injury I sustained from pitchforking the first patch of garden is still making digging difficult.
And that’s where I am heading into Month 4 of Gardening/
Here are a couple of pictures before I do any more.

Fitness value? Still number one from the point of view of overall muscle work-out, and definitely number one in value for time and money spent. My garden is a far cry from the jungle of rose-thorns, dead grass and overgrown lavenders that I inherited—but it has a long way to go.
Note, also, walking is essential. Even on days when you garden, a little bit of purely aerobic exercise is good, and as a way of clearing your head and loosening up sore muscles I think it’s difficult to beat.


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