made up exercises

When you were a kid, did your mom go to the gym to get in shape? Did she have an exercise ball, free weights, and resistance bands at home to use between running on the tread mill and working out on the stair stepper? Of course not. Back in those days, exercise came with the business of living.

Every time I push a weight down into the water at the pool, I reminded of how my grandmother pushed the wooden paddle up and down in the butter churn. As I twist my upper body with resistance bands, I picture her wielding a scythe on the weeds in the back yard. Her upper arms got a workout as she scrubbed our clothes on a washboard and then hung them on a clothes line to dry. She needed no artificial weights, because she had to lift the heavy irons on and off the stove to press our dresses. She walked everywhere she needed to go, so no need for a tread mill. She had to have a strong back too, to tote all those buckets of water from the well to the house. No squatting exercises were required to keep her thighs in shape. She did her squats early in the morning as she dug up new potatoes and picked vegetables from the garden.

Now that life is a whole lot easier, we create artificial tasks to do. And we pay lots of money for the coaching and the equipment. We buy outfits to go with the activity and special shoes too. Counting my 2 sets of weights and my skis and bike, I have 10 pieces of equipment in my home to keep me healthy. Then I walk afew miles a day around the neighborhood with Cisco and swim once or twice a week to punish any muscles that I might have missed. After I do all this, I dont have time to iron or bake or garden. How on earth did Grandma do it?

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