Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Getting Ready and Extra Steps

Hello, everyone, and we hope that you are enjoying this last full week of summer before Labor Day. What better way is there to get the most of summer living than to stop by Pathfinder Produce for a selection of yummy fresh fruits and veggies?  Many of our Hoop House products are at their tastiest now, and everything is competitively priced.

We invite all our friends and neighbors to come to the market in Edmeston on Thursdays, from 1 to 5 p.m. We accept many forms of payment, and have some great savings through our frequent buyer program.


Fall is upon us, as the turning leaves on the trees at Pathfinder's Kennedy Willis Center are reminding me.  These beautiful sugar maples are always the first to turn at the end of August; they post a signal for everyone to get ready for the winter to come.

This past Sunday at Graceland, we spent time doing just that.  We spent several hours getting firewood out of our woods, a process which is hampered by how the property sits along a steep slope, and has a swamp at the bottom of the hill. Afterward, all my muscles ached. It wasn’t a bad ache, like with the cold or flu, but one from doing physical labor.

Our process for firewood would be comical for experienced woodsmen, I'm sure, but it works. My husband cuts downed-but-sound trees into manageable chunks. It's my job to roll the cut logs down the slope to a staging area. My son, who swings a mean 8 lb. maul, splits the larger pieces so they dry more quickly. Then we put them into the cart, drive the load to our yard, and stack everything to air dry. Once we get more things cleared out to make a decent trail in the woods, we'll graduate to our full size tractor, which has a loader.

(Some may ask why we don't just drag out logs and cut them near the wood pile. We find that dragging gouges the hillside, and gets the logs really, really muddy. Dirty logs equal dull saws and lots of frustrating delays).

Of course rolling logs is not a predictable sport, so you often have to roll or throw the logs several times to get them to where they need to be. Needless to say, my lower back shoulders, and legs get quite the workout when we tackle firewood. (I'm thankful for our old clawfoot tub … a hot soak makes all the difference).

Just to see how things compared to my typical walking schedule, my fitness tracker (as of 11 p.m. that day) said that I had put in 11,925 steps, walked 4.9 miles, and burned 1,757 calories. During a typical day, one where I do a lot of computer work, I try to meet my daily goal of 6,500 steps, and have averaged about 6,744 daily steps over the past 30 days. (If you're interested in tracking what you do each day, there are low cost fitness trackers available, or you can even use a cell phone app to count your steps. Even my ancient iPhone 4 has one of these apps).

This reminds me of an article I read a few years ago about treating your daily household tasks as part of your fitness routine. And indeed, a quick search reveals any number of recent articles on how chores can be a great way to “feel the burn.” Weight Watchers says that tackling chores may have an added benefit because “you are more likely to stick with moderate-intensity as opposed to high-intensity activity over a lifetime.” Plus, at the end of your workout, you've actually accomplished something, which can be seen as a positive reinforcement.

Another strategy is to consciously make efforts to get more steps each day. Don't park your car as close as you can when you go to the store, take the stairs more at work, and be inefficient as you complete tasks about the house (make two trips upstairs to put away clean laundry instead of just one).  Other suggestions are available at the Prevention Magazine website. 

Until next time, keep moving and be well!


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