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Staying Garden Fit Through The Winter

I find no difficulty keeping reasonable fit during the garden season. There are always beds to be edged, weeds to be pulled, plants to be pruned, rocks to be moved, vegetable gardens to be turned over not to mention all the new plants that need to be hauled from the garden center, moved around in the garden, and holes to be dug to give them a new home. But winter is a different matter. I return to work in the winter, sitting for many hours at a time at the computer leading, what in comparison to summer, is a relatively sedentary life style. Add to that all the seasonal treats like Christmas cookies and wine by the fire on a cold winter evening and come spring I’m in trouble. My main goal over the winter is to stay fit enough to avoid injury during those first spring days in the garden.

This winter I’ve started a fairly intense home workout program — P90X2. While not for everyone I am enjoying it so far. I’m in the first stages of the program that combines my love of pilates with some weight training, as well as cardio, all in one routine. Whether I make it through to the more athletic components of the program is to be seen but right now it is keeping me motivated to meet my main fitness objectives:

  • develop a strong core to help me with stability so that I can avoid back injuries while lifting heavy pots and digging for hours in the garden.
  • build a reasonable amount of muscle strength to help me carry those many watering cans around to water my annuals.
  • build some stamina to help me work in the garden, safely, all day. ¬†As a gardener I am pretty good at being able to maintain a full day of slow intense labour but must admit my cardio is horrible (I mean it’s not like a gardener does a lot of running, except maybe to chase the rabbits away from the lettuce garden).

So here’s to keeping active in the winter, in anticipation of getting outdoors and digging in the warm summer soil.

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