does yardwork count as exercise?

Hello, and welcome back to another Sweating on Sunday topic. I finally am back to regular workout routines after a shoulder injury sidelined any upper body work, and then I was sick with what seemed like Covid, but I tested negative 3 times. I do still have a lingering cough and actually think it was Covid as I was directly exposed by a coworker. Anyhow, I had to quarantine and no one else was exposed by me. My husband and daughter also got sick, and also tested negative. If you are vaccinated you can get a breakthrough infection though it will be milder and you may not get enough of a viral load to test positive, and supposedly you can not spread it. This post may contain affiliate links.

This time of year, in Florida, I could literally do yardwork every single day for at least an hour. Between the garden, mowing, weed whacking, and all the trimming that constantly needs doing, my daily workout could be yardwork. Or, could it? Is yardwork exercise, or just being active? I know for me it is definitely exercise. My heart rate goes up, I get plenty hot and sweaty, and I burn calories according to my fitness watch. Now, for me I like to stay in the light to moderate intensity. range of exercise due to my Kidney Disease. I try to never hit the high or maximum heart rate zones. To find your maximum heart rate zone for exercise subtract your age from 220. I will be 52 in a couple of weeks so that makes my maximum heart rate 168. If you would like to read more about heart rate zones, click here.

Not only does your heart rate increase, but you also will be working various muscles while doing yardwork. Check out this Pinterest image to see which garden tools work which muscles. Or, this one to see the muscles used when mowing grass with a push mower. As you can see different tools work different muscles. It is best if you can do yardwork for at least 60 minutes. That is super easy for me. We have almost an acre of land, and half of it I use a push mower to mow. The other half my husband does with a riding mower which of course is not exercise at all.

The two short videos below explain it even better. The first video is from a homesteading gentleman who shows how he stays in shape working the homestead and using the various tools mentioned. The second video the gentleman actually shows his stats from his fitness watch after he mows his 3/4 of an acre yard, and figures out whether it was exercise or just activity. Be sure and watch it.

You may not need that expensive gym membership, after all. But, you may need to supplement if you only do yardwork once or twice a week. Health Buddy Melissa has not tested or used any of the products mentioned in the second video.

Make sure you rest if you need to and then start back up, drink plenty of water, and then cool off and relax when you are all done.

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Sweating on Sunday: Heart Rate Zones for Exercise

Updated 4/11/2021 Hi, and welcome to Sweating on Sunday.  Here in Florida, this time of year, you can sweat just sitting.  But, that is not what you need to increase stamina and get fit.  Heart rate zones, are important to learn.  For me, with CKD, I need to be careful not to make my heart rate go so high to increase my blood pressure too much.  That is true for all CKD patients.  Increasing the blood pressure can cause the kidneys to strain harder.  I try to stay in the light to moderate range of my heart rate.  This can be hard when I am also trying to build strength, stamina, and endurance.  It is a balancing act, just like everything else with CKD.  That is why I do fitness walking, water aerobics, and light weight training.  I try to do a full body stretch once a week.  Yoga, and Pilates are great, but I find them rather boring.  I especially love working out in the pool when it is time to do squats and lunges, because the impact on my 50 yr old joints, is less stressful.  Same thing with upper body.  I actually keep my dumbbells in the water, and use them at least twice a week.  Trust me you still get a great workout, and will feel it the next day, it just causes less stress on the joints.  I wish my Fitbit was waterproof.  The images below are from the Fitbit website.  Remember if you feel excessive pain, can’t talk, or are gasping for breath, your heart rate is too high.  Experts say to never just stop, instead walk around, or slow down, and take deep breaths until the symptoms go away.  Find your age, and then locate the heart rates for each intensity zone.  This is the highest that your heart rate should go to be safe for light, or moderate intensity workouts.  No one should jump into an extreme exercise routine, start slow, and build your endurance.  CKD people should avoid intense, or peak heart rate workouts, staying within the 50-70% range.  Your heart rate may go high when you are sedentary and start exercising.  This is normal as your heart is a muscle and needs to be strengthened.  If that means you can only walk 5 minutes then only walk 5 minutes.  You will get stronger.  I started at 10 minutes, and I am now up to 60 minutes 6 days a week.  Not adding arm movements to your aerobics will help keep your heart rate in the lower zones.  If you are stage 4, or 5 exercise may not be safe for you due to the water you will lose through sweat.  Be sure to re-hydrate after exercise.  This may be tricky for some so talk to your doctor about fluid loss through sweat.  Excessive thirst is a warning sign that you may be becoming dehydrated.    Make sure you talk to your doctor first, and everyone should consult their doctor before going from sedentary to active.  Most doctors will say walking is OK, for most people.  If you don’t have a Fitbit, or other heart rate monitoring device, you can learn to take your own heart rate.  It is easy, hold your first two fingers on the inside of your wrist, thumb side, and feel your pulse.  Count how many times you feel it in 10 seconds, and then multiply by 6. As your fitness level increases and your heart strengthens, you may find you can work out in a harder zone and it won’t have much affect on blood pressure or heart rate. This takes time, patience and endurance. At the time of this update I can now work out at a more moderate level without it causing a spike in my blood pressure. That is because I am becoming more fit. I can walk faster now, and my heart rate can still stay in the fat burning zone, unless it is very hot out. My new goal for 2021 is to be able to run/walk 1.5 miles in 15-20 minutes.

Exercise can be both a stress reliever, and a stressor. Exercise is great for stress relief. However, if you over exercise you can cause an injury which is a stressor due to pain, decrease mobility, loss of stress release. Would you like a free coaching session related to Stress? Click here to read how. Limited to 10 people and expires on April 30, 2021.

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