The late Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Bob Feller scoffed at modern players for lifting weights. Feller, who grew up on a farm in Iowa, thought it was absurd to spend hours carrying iron around indoors when you could do some meaningful labor outside that actually accomplished something. Think about it: Why drive to a gym and haul weights around or toil on machines in order to work your body the way people did naturally for thousands of years?
Indeed, there’s nothing that better challenges your flexibility, strength, stability, and endurance than around-the-house tasks like gardening or yard work. Plus, these movements better mimic the motions of everyday life. We rotate our bodies in every direction. Simple movements like raking leaves, pulling weeds, digging holes, or installing plants and shrubs require these rotational movements. So by “training” your body this way, you counteract the effects of sitting too much while making your body leaner and more resistant to injury.
Here are 10 household chores that’ll torch burn as many calories as a workout.
Pete Williams is a NASM certified personal trainer and the author and co-author of a number of books on performance and training.