In a busy world, many people don’t have time to care for themselves and their houses. Something has to give when you have a busy schedule, so the best thing you can do is learn when to double up.
Over 228 million Americans own lawn equipment, meaning they don’t rely on someone else to take care of their routine outdoor chores. If you have plenty of yardwork and outdoor projects to catch up on, it might be time to cancel your gym subscription and go all-in on improving your home.
1. Plan Things Out
When the weather warms up, you may feel ready to take everything onto your plate. Before you start tackling all of your outdoor chores, you should have a plan. Lay out what you think you’ll be able to achieve on which days.
You should also plan for a couple of days of rest, which will allow your body to restore itself to its prime condition — and make it ready to tackle another day full of outdoor chores in the heat.
2. Be Safe
Make sure that you accurately assess potential risks before you start your yardwork tasks. Things you’ve never done before might be dangerous if you aren’t sure how to complete them and don’t have someone to show you the ropes.
People may think cleaning their gutters is easy, but they might risk slips or falls if they aren’t used to climbing on and working from ladders. Safety should be your main priority, so if you aren’t sure you can do something safely, save it for later or for someone else to work on.
Instead of opting for pest control that can make you sick or potentially hurt you or the living things around you, search for all-natural alternatives or make them yourself so you know what’s going into the land when you use them. Taking care of your home and lawn means ensuring you give it something that won’t kill plants or harm wildlife.
3. Think About Substitutions
If you don’t know the good a particular activity could do for you, try to think of substitutions. For example, raking leaves is similar to a rowing machine at the gym. When you think about what these activities could replace, you can better understand which muscles you’re working on and which may need your attention later. You can always make a plan to work out at home using the muscles you don’t regularly work, thanks to your outdoor chores. Pay attention to where your needs are on rainy days when you can’t get outside.
4. Focus On The Little Wins
You might not be able to see a physical change after just a week of yardwork. As such, you need to celebrate the little wins. If you’ve noticed yourself lifting something heavier than you could’ve when you started working outside, that’s worth celebrating. You may also see that the activity has caused your mental state to improve, which can help decrease your stress and make you feel better about yourself.
Remember to take each day as it comes. Celebrate every bit of progress you see to keep yourself motivated through the rest of your chores and projects.
5. Take Breaks
With every workout, you need to take breaks. If you’re starting to feel lightheaded or like you’ve exerted too much, you have to sit down or go inside and rest. Resting is essential to let your body heal itself and come back stronger.
If you continue pushing yourself, you’re likely to sustain an injury — which would mean that you wouldn’t be able to work out or do anything physical around the house. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to sit down and take a break. Your body will thank you for it.
6. Hire A Professional When Needed
You’ll know when you encounter a job you can’t tackle alone. Instead of trying to power your way through it, you may need to hire a professional. At some point, clearing out your gutters or getting on the roof to inspect it might become too hazardous for you. It’s okay to outsource your yardwork — plenty of activities will await you elsewhere to help you get into shape.
Use The Great Outdoors As Your Gym
You can still get a great workout by planning your daily outdoor chores. One major daily task could serve as an excellent substitute for the gym, but you can’t always target the muscles you want.
On rainy days, you’ll have to find another way to exercise, but you won’t feel short of workouts as long as you have outdoor chores and projects to complete. Remember to take it easy and stay within your comfort zone when lifting or exerting effort. You may see a transformation by the end of the season.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.