ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Gandhi Principle: Physical Work as a Fitness Tool

Updated on May 18, 2012
Source
Source

“the life of manual labor is the life of value”.

-Mahatma Gandhi

The Challenge of Exercise

I’ve been to a lot of gyms in my lifetime. I’ve owned treadmills, ellipticals, hand weights, work-out videos. I’ve jogged through city streets and country roads. And sure, there is a feeling of accomplishment at the end of any workout.

But these routines get boring so quickly. Predictable and uneventful. My muscles become accustomed, and I no longer feel that soreness that follows a job well done. It’s no wonder that exercise is a chore rather than a luxury! And when my time is limited already, it can be so hard to devote even 30 minutes to such a purely selfish task. For years I’ve struggled to maintain the motivation necessary to get regular exercise.

The Epiphany

And then something changed. My new husband and I moved to a house, a house on an acre of wild, unruly, unkempt land. The lawn was more moss than grass, the flowerbeds a haven for weeds. Veritable mountains of deadfall and pine needles lay strewn about from windstorms many years past.

Such work to be done! So much time and effort to be spent!

The first great working weekend came with the rental of a wood chipper, and I found myself in work boots and men’s leather gloves. Across every buried corner of our property I tromped, dragging logs and throwing branches like some great Amazonian woman, my skin scratched and mud-streaked, my hair in tufts of brambles and detritus. I was a wild thing! I was exhausted. At the end of the second day I fell to my couch like a dead creature, muscles only beginning to feel the extraordinary ache that would find me hobbling through the coming days.

Source
Source

“Ah? A small aversion to menial labor?" The doctor cocked an eyebrow. "Understandable, but misplaced. One should treasure those hum-drum tasks that keep the body occupied but leave the mind and heart unfettered.”

― Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair

A Change in My Thinking

It was brilliant. I was so proud of myself, so satisfied with our accomplishment, so impressed by the sheer labor I had undergone and calories I must have burned.

But soon the glow wore off, and I found myself wishing for more such challenges. And so it has become a lifestyle by choice for me, searching out projects that will challenge my body and improve my home. I find myself suddenly gravitating toward those exhausting chores I used to avoid, my approach to work now so entirely different.

How amazing that by simply changing my thinking I have transformed the nature of work.

I have found something therapeutic in hard work. The dual euphoria of accomplishing both physical exercise and a necessary task is truly satisfying. I am invigorated.

Now I am not saying that you mop your kitchen floor with a toothbrush. That would be a sad waste of time. I only wish to suggest that in this modern day full of electronic and motorized shortcuts, why not cut back on that electricity bill and work up a sweat while you’re at it? Put down the leaf-blower and try using a good old rake or push broom. You may be surprised by how natural it feels.

Source

"Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having except as a result of hard work."

- Booker T. Washington

Suggestions to Get Started With

  • Sweep and mop. Avoid those Swiffer mops, way too easy! Put your back in to it.
  • Wash the windows, both inside and out. This is a big one, it can take forever! You’ll feel the burn in your arms and shoulders.
  • Rake! Another great one for the arms. Rake leaves, pine needles, petals. Trade in the rake for a snow shovel in the winter and clear that driveway.
  • Walk the dogs. Walk them twice a day! Convince yourself that you're doing it for them.
  • Wash your car. Use a hose, a bucket, and a big old sponge and scrub it like you stole it.
  • Dust EVERYTHING. Do it quickly and energetically. Play music that makes you want to dance.
  • Moss in the lawn? Rake it out by hand. Reseed.
  • Throw on some gloves and go pick up litter wherever you can find it. Don't bend over to pick things up, SQUAT every time. Or at least until your legs give out.


Calories: Let's Crunch Numbers

Chore
Calories burned in 30 minutes
Digging dirt or stacking wood
215
Shoveling snow
200
Cleaning gutters
165
Scrubbing bathtub
130
Raking leaves
100
Washing windows
95
Vacuuming
86

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • SouthernHoney profile imageAUTHOR

      SouthernHoney 

      6 years ago from Woodinville, WA

      Pollyannalana,

      Exactly my thoughts! I’m with you on the walks though. You sound very much like me with your camera, I have to take that thing everywhere. Thanks for your comment!

    • SouthernHoney profile imageAUTHOR

      SouthernHoney 

      6 years ago from Woodinville, WA

      Jenna,

      What an opportune time! Thanks so much for reading and for the positive feedback.

    • SouthernHoney profile imageAUTHOR

      SouthernHoney 

      6 years ago from Woodinville, WA

      That's so cool, xstatic! I'm glad you did share, well done. I need to do some more planting myself; I want to be overrun with tomatoes this year.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      6 years ago from US

      That is how I have always gotten most of my exercise most of my life. Who has time for exercise! I do walk for fun a lot though since I love taking photos. Very interesting and useful hub!

    • Jenna Pope profile image

      Jenna Pope 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      This is a very practical article. Funny -- I read it while I was procrastinating on doing house work. Voted up. Well done!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      After getting our grow boxes ready, planting tomatoes, peppers and zucchini yesterday, I feel like a new man, so came back to share this one.

    • SouthernHoney profile imageAUTHOR

      SouthernHoney 

      6 years ago from Woodinville, WA

      Ha! Well xstatic, I can’t say that I blame you. Getting started on a big old project can be a little daunting ;)

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      This is great! I can't say that my enthusiasm for working in the yard has ever been as great as yours, but pushing that mower, all that walking behind it, two walks a day for the dog is great exercise.

      Whew! Reading about all that work has made me hungry, better have luch, then maybe a nap, just kidding.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)