12

votes

How do you incorporate physical labor into your everyday life?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 22, 2011 at 3:26 AM

Without going to the gym?

Doing things the manual way seems to make most conventionals recoil in horror, but it just seems easier to me to be moving around while I'm also getting some domestic work done (cause that's where I work).

-I hang up the laundry to dry outside
-I recently got one of these hand washers for washing laundry (I admit I only use it one out of every 4 or 5 loads)
-I carry my baby all the time, in my arms or in a sling (she's 4 months)

...and that's all I can think of. Anyone have some good ole fashioned manual labor ideas/tips?

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on July 31, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Walking to the bar is always the best way to get there... getting home is another matter entirely. I think my paleo ancestors must have come from a region with lots of fermented fruit...

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on July 31, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Walking to the bar is always the best way to get there... getting home is another matter entirely. - I think my paleo ancestors must have come from a region with lots a fermented fruit...

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 25, 2011
at 12:33 PM

I've gotta admit, it's not mine (and I can't remember where I got it from or I would gladly disperse the credit :-)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 23, 2011
at 10:23 AM

I had forgotten about my treadle sewing machine. Not a super workout but it keeps your legs from falling asleep if you have to sit at the machine all day.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:36 AM

Walk to the bar, awesome

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 23, 2011
at 12:11 AM

I walk to food. I'm trying to connect hunger with activity. Hunger leads to hunting leads to food. 12 miles so far today. I also bowl even though I'm terrible at it.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on July 22, 2011
at 05:30 PM

I like that, "random acts of fitness" :)

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 22, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Hahahahahah! Hahahahah! You're funny. Makes me think of that maniac De Vany pulling his Land Rover to and fro. I wonder what his wife REALLY thinks of that.

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1035)

on July 22, 2011
at 05:00 PM

I thought of another one: making butter! Shaking up cream in a jar is like using a shake weight for 15 minutes (I assume..I have never actually used a shake weight), except you get to eat butter afterward!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 22, 2011
at 02:50 PM

I make my wife carry me to bed every night from the other end of the house. It's really done wonders for her guns. Biceps too.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 22, 2011
at 02:04 PM

I live in NY, multi-story walkups are the norm here and for the most part it's like climbing the biggest ladder in the world. Walking is always faster than the bus, and sometimes the train. No car so you lug *everything* on public transportation or via your feet. Chasing the pup in the park and tossing balls for her.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on July 22, 2011
at 08:14 AM

I carried a new couch up 5 flights of stairs this morning.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:27 AM

Love raking leaves too! It is great fun with a baby in a backpack.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:24 AM

When our washer broke I did laundry by hand either with a wonder wash or in the bath tub grape stomping style for the better part of a year. I ended up with killer biceps, but my middle thickened up considerably at the same time. It was good hard work, but I think it was also quite stressful trying to get it all done while keeping an eye on an active toddler at the same time.

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1035)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:08 AM

That's awesome, I love doing cartwheels! My four year old likes to play "exercise class", she comes up with some pretty creative moves.

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25 Answers

12
6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on July 22, 2011
at 03:38 AM

I look for heavy shit around the house and convince myself that it needs to be somewhere else in the house. Drives my wife nuts.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 22, 2011
at 05:18 PM

Hahahahahah! Hahahahah! You're funny. Makes me think of that maniac De Vany pulling his Land Rover to and fro. I wonder what his wife REALLY thinks of that.

9
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:01 AM

I have a dog and children who need frequent walking - 3 x a day.

I also play with my kids. We play tag and when I am tagged my oldest (because my youngest doesn't yet talk) gives me an exercise to do. He usually hangs out with me while I workout so he knows all about push ups, box jumps and burpees. Sometimes he makes me do cartwheels. He thinks he is my personal trainer. It's exhausting!

78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1035)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:08 AM

That's awesome, I love doing cartwheels! My four year old likes to play "exercise class", she comes up with some pretty creative moves.

6
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 22, 2011
at 02:58 PM

I try to perform "random acts of fitness" when I'm at the office. If I've got a minute between patients, I'll bust out 25 push ups or air squats. To keep limber, I like to do Sisson's "Grok Squat" when I have a minute. Luckily, I'm on my feet all day so I at least have that going for me. It'd be tougher if I was a desk jockey. Prolonged sitting is the single worst thing you can do to your musculoskeletal system. I struggle with it every day with my patients. A cushy desk job makes YOU cushy, which is not good.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on July 22, 2011
at 05:30 PM

I like that, "random acts of fitness" :)

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on July 25, 2011
at 12:33 PM

I've gotta admit, it's not mine (and I can't remember where I got it from or I would gladly disperse the credit :-)

5
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 22, 2011
at 04:15 AM

I walk my dog every day, and let him (and me) loose in a nearby field. My husband gets embarrassed because I leap around and yell and laugh, but it keeps the dog interested in playing ball; otherwise he sort of wanders off when my husband just throws it mechanically, over and over.

I use a manual push mower on half an acre, and some weeks that truly qualifies as labor. And housework, yes, although I grumble about it. Cooking with cast iron pans, too, is good for my puny biceps.

Oh, and at work I just converted to a standing desk, and I practice samba steps while programming. It's good that I work with a bunch of other weirdos. ;)

Thanks so much for asking this; great question!

5
4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on July 22, 2011
at 03:32 AM

Gardening and pulling weeds is always a good workout! (Especially in the Georgia heat) The days I do that I don't go to the gym :)

4
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 22, 2011
at 03:40 AM

I sweep and wash the floors by hand (with a rag) because I don't have a vacuum cleaner. I always shovel snow manually, and our house has two decks and a very long entrance stairway so that's a lot of shovelling :)

2
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on July 22, 2011
at 02:12 PM

I have no car. That should be enough :D Which means: walking with heavy grocery bags either on my back or/and in my hands, taking books to library (which may get pretty heavy), walking to/from bus, sometimes quick sprint to catch a bus etc.

I had a daily walk to work, and as I am a teach it often involved carrying heavy backpack with books, it's better than a weighted vest ;-)

I just came back from two weeks visiting my friends in VT, where I could help them in clearing their land for pasture, which involved burning a lot of brush... A few hours almost every day of dragging, breaking, lifting, throwing, squatting etc. wood was quite the best exercise I could think of! I think even if we don't have this kind of opportunities daily, maybe volunteering somewhere where physical help is needed (for elderly?) might be a great way to combine physical with ethical fitness.

oh, I am also very passionate about decor and remodeling my apt, which means painting walls (first sanding them, washing) moving furniture, etc. I think there is a reason why my arms are the most muscular! :D

2
36b7a2776d028dc8d5743e2e56ece34d

on July 22, 2011
at 01:48 PM

I don't have a car so I have to walk/bike everywhere and travel usually 15 miles per day between surfing and getting food.

Surfing for me is a great way to workout without feeling like a workout.

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:17 AM

We live on a hill and dirt tends to slowly migrate down our long steep driveway. When it gets to be 2-3 inches deep every few months, my uber domestic workout is to first weed the driveway, and then grab a shovel and wheelbarrow. After all that shoveling and running up the hill with the full wheel barrow for an afternoon I can tell I've gotten a really good workout.

Going for hikes with 2 year old who doesn't want to walk more than 5 steps at a time without being picked up, and then insists on being put back down almost immediately is my primary workout these days. No need for a gym with my tiny trainer in tow.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 22, 2011
at 06:27 AM

Love raking leaves too! It is great fun with a baby in a backpack.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 19, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I do construction work for a living.

1
Medium avatar

on July 23, 2011
at 10:00 AM

I'm a graphic designer and while that's very sedentary, I also run a large printer back in my 'cave.' So I'm toting heavy paper boxes, loading crap into the printer, crawling on hands and knees finding paper jams, toting more heavy boxes of paper. Lots of paper.

It's noisy sometimes so I have Pandora blaring away from my Mac (with some kick speakers a co-worker scored at a thrift store) and, I can't lie, I'll get carried away and move it like I mean it once in a while. Haven't been caught yet.

Lots of running around back and forth between me and the production guys. I log about 3 miles daily just running around during working hours.

I also hang my wash on the line (sheets!), and I'm a nut for weed-pulling.

And does 'swiffering' count? I'm a nut for the the swiffering. Of course I use an old t-shirt of hubs for the swiffer part because I'm so green (meaning cheap).

1
69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on July 23, 2011
at 02:17 AM

I do computer work standing up.

I'm a nurse, so I simply attempt to answer the lights as fast as possible, since it's pretty much impossible to do so, in trying I'm almost always out of breath.

I take the stairs all the time.

Air squats randomly.

1
1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

on July 23, 2011
at 12:54 AM

I work on a farm, so manual labor is pretty much all I do!

1
2d4ff23c8ce7fb00708fa88ceffd4087

(408)

on July 22, 2011
at 11:49 PM

I work in a nursery hauling plants all day.

1
9b2e3130786c8c33ae0ec7439c277e0f

on July 22, 2011
at 11:49 PM

I use my reel mower to cut grass. I don't own a single yard tool with a motor. It is a full body workout!

1
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on July 22, 2011
at 04:04 PM

Walk or bike to work a couple of times a week (3 miles each way).

Standing desk

Walk to the store

Walk to the bar

Walk for no reason other than the sun is out

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 23, 2011
at 12:11 AM

I walk to food. I'm trying to connect hunger with activity. Hunger leads to hunting leads to food. 12 miles so far today. I also bowl even though I'm terrible at it.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 23, 2011
at 01:36 AM

Walk to the bar, awesome

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on July 31, 2011
at 11:18 PM

Walking to the bar is always the best way to get there... getting home is another matter entirely. - I think my paleo ancestors must have come from a region with lots a fermented fruit...

5b69a02dadcae753771921d913909215

(1457)

on July 31, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Walking to the bar is always the best way to get there... getting home is another matter entirely. I think my paleo ancestors must have come from a region with lots of fermented fruit...

1
E18e363f19b58df35f360e5184de2549

on July 22, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I'll also park as far away in a parking lot as allows. In large strip malls I'll park in the middle of two and walk to both places. I also take the stairs three or less floors in buildings.

1
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 22, 2011
at 10:16 AM

I just set up an easy do-it-your self standing desk in my home office. I found a small children's card table in the basement to bring the monitor and keyboard to just the right height when set on my regular desk. My laptop is below and I sit on an exercise ball at it when I get tired of standing - I'm still in training.

1
34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on July 22, 2011
at 03:28 AM

I swept, vacuumed, then mopped the floors today - all of the common areas in this house are tile, it was a lot of work!

0
A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

on April 19, 2012
at 04:40 PM

I work at a University and have alot of downtime. There are several trails around here and I have started to use some of them at lunch time. There is one called Cardiac Hill. It is only about 330m long, but very steep. I have recently started doing hill sprints on this. Right now I can only do about 25sec of max effort with 1 - 2 min rest. I get about 3 -4 bursts until I reach the top. I have already noticed an improvement in just 1 week doing this every other day. In between that, I take an after supper walk to my son's school playground and have started doing some excersises on the equipmnet there as well.

0
D52268782ffab033cee526ac7ec88ab5

on April 19, 2012
at 02:28 PM

I suggest, remove electronics in your life as much as you can. Cook at home. Make things at home. Its like the you get paid for your labor, which by the way is the original currency. I have been trying to remove electronics (and automobiles) from my life and I am happy that I started this.

0
75eac261810edad04343524c425c375f

on July 31, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Like hatcherooni, a reel mower is a GREAT thing! I have done virtually all the mowing at our house this summer w/this--may have to take a short break now, though, just b/c of the extreme heat, humidity and mosquitos and let the hub get out his manly riding mower....

0
332d9f75d1077abafff6887681f6b130

on July 22, 2011
at 03:38 PM

I work on the 3rd floor of my building. I almost never taker the elevator, and frequently stop by the 8th or 9th floor on my way to the 3rd. I call the detours "field trips" and suckered my coworker into it once. Now she's wise to my antics and refuses to go to the stairs with me for fear that I'll make her "feel alive" again. I also spend one or two lunches every week just walking around outside. Its refreshing, and a nice break in my day full of desk-jockeying. I don’t have a standing desk, but I frequently stand at my desk anyway, which weirds out my coworkers.

I also take my dog for walks every morning. 30 minuets of wandering the dark streets (this is at 5:00 am) with occasional sprints if the dog and I both agree. In the evenings I take him for another walk, and usually insist on more running than in the AM since I’m not heading to work afterward so I can get sweaty/smelly.

I almost forgot: They just installed some bike lanes connecting my apartment to the 2nd nearest grocery store. Once I find a place to lock up my bike when I get there, I can start riding to the store again (2.5 miles each way)

0
E18e363f19b58df35f360e5184de2549

on July 22, 2011
at 02:44 PM

If I have an errand that is 3 or under away and I have the time I'll walk or run there. When I am taking a trip for work I'll wake up early and walk to the train station (~2 miles).

0
Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on July 22, 2011
at 02:40 PM

Right now, our clutter is taking over. So even though it's too hot out for me to even think about an outdoor workout, even walking (anything more than 15 minutes out in the heat makes me have to lay down for the rest of the day :( ), I'm going to be working in the A/C today. Lugging out bags of trash, moving things from where they are to where they belong -- heck, I'll probably walk 3-4 miles just inside my apartment. And over the weekend, my husband and I will be rearranging furniture.

On a regular basis (when the heat won't kill me) we take the dog for long walks (usually 30-60 minutes). And I tend to walk for most of my errands -- small amounts of grocery shopping, the dollar store, CVS, and I'm working my way up to the library....

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