viernes, 13 de junio de 2008

Don't Go to the Gym!

I've found the ultimate exercise: gardening. That's what I'm doing daily at the moment, my mother is late with her garden and needs some help.

Gardening is fantastic! It's a versatile activity, you have to perform many different tasks, walking, pushing, pulling, pecking, bending down, stretching, carrying heavy things... You train all muscle groups, I can tell! I'm permanently having sore muscles just everywhere, from the neck to the feet, even in places I didn't think I had muscles... including in my fingers! Have you ever felt the muscles in your fingers at the gym?

Gardening also trains coordination, you have to manipulate things more subtly than you do with a few dumbbells. And it'll increase your stamina. After a while of cleaning your garden, you'll feel your heart work seriously, I assure you. So it's an all-round training, encompassing cardio, muscle building and coordination.

Another benefit: you get sunlight and fresh air. That's much better than to be caged in a room with artificial light and conditioned air smelling like plastic. We need sunlight and fresh air, just like we need to move. It's vital.

Not to forget the greatest benefit: you nourish yourself with your work. You get to eat the delicious organic things you have grown yourself.

I find it really strange and a bit funny to drive to the gym with a car, do some exercise there, come back with the car, and then buy some fruit and veggies, maybe even expensive organic things because they're healthier or more ethical. You pay to exercise, then you pay to eat. Why not exercise in your garden and eat the result of your exercise? You'd save the money for the gym, and the money for the food.

As for the energy, isn't it a big waste to use a lot of gas and pollute the environment with your car in order to go spend a lot of time and energy on some machines with no other purpose and no other result than to do so for its own sake... and then to need someone else to provide you with food?

If I were a gym owner, I'd use all these machines to at least produce some electricity. Imagine all these people in all these gyms all over the country, pushing, pulling and lifting all day long, imagine how much energy gets just wasted this way! No really, what a pity.

Gardening not only is a reasonable, ethical and healthy way to exercise, it's also a fun activity. I never get bored when I'm in the garden! I'd love to have my own and to grow lots of greens and berries in it.

Gardening also strengthens our connection to Nature, that many of us have unfortunately lost.

It can even have a meditative aspect. I always use it as an excellent opportunity to practice present moment awareness, focus on what I'm doing and let go of all thoughts. I feel very peaceful when I'm gardening.

And when you get hungry while working out, you can just eat the next right thing in front of you. Can you eat your dumbbells?