Eating healthfully with whole foods, properly raised and prepared, is very important. However, there’s another side of the coin: it’s also very important to stay healthy through activity and fitness.
Why? First, we are aging and we need to keep up with our homestead’s work load. Second, in the case of an emergency, we need to fend for ourselves, confront challenging situations, and sustain a high level of endurance despite possible injuries.
I and my family don’t require a gym to stay fit. We live in a very remote location with a long walk ahead of us if our truck were to break down. We’ve been snowed in for eight and a half weeks before — one of our biggest struggles was the ten-mile round-trip hike to the mailbox to pay the bills! It was an invigorating and adventurous experience and made me think: the original homesteaders’ greatest skill was in their improvisation, adaptability, and ability to overcome difficult situations.
Every day, at least a few chores provide ample manual labor. And we always enjoy it, whether it’s pulling weeds in the garden, chopping firewood, or hauling a hay bale out to the goats. Anything that keeps us outside in the fresh air gets a thumbs up from me! (Plus, we get to invest our time and love into projects that later we can survey with pride and joy.)
When we hike to the post office, we carry our pack frames on our back. Sometimes they’re empty, but often my son will carry back 25 pounds, and I’ll take 45 pounds. We get an all-body workout, but it isn’t exhausting because our day-to-day life prepares us for challenges like these. We make it our business to prepare for the unexpected.
And what do we do for fun? We strike off into the great unknown wilderness and go hiking. 🙂 This isn’t a casual jaunt — we leave early in the morning and return late in the day, often covering between 20 and 25 miles. We see the most amazing terrain; often it hasn’t been seen by any human eye for a long time.
Exercise and the outdoors are great therapy for anyone. Give it a try. But don’t forget to combine all that healthy activity with eight hours of sleep each night and a healthy diet — you just might feel like a new you, ready for anything! Since I have removed sugar and all processed foods from diet, plus eliminated 90% of the starchy foods in my diet, I have gained energy and lost my aches and pains.
Please know: if you’re in pain or suffering and unable to be active, we are praying for you and certainly don’t urge or expect you to do any of what I described above. 🙂
What’s your favorite form of homestead exercise?
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