Fit ‘n’ Healthy: Landscaping Can Switch Up Your Workout

Here is a question from a member that I would like to share with you.

I’ve been away from the gym for five days because I’ve been working on the driveway. I dug a 25-foot-long trench and removed a whack of grass and hauled in sand and, really, all kinds of hard stuff. I worked three or four hours a day and my muscles ached and I slept like a log. It was a good ache and a good sleep.

So, I was thinking that I wouldn’t have to go to the gym because of all of this heavy lifting I was doing in the real world.

Last night, the first time back to the gym, almost killed me. It was worse than if I had just returned from vacation where I did nothing.

So, what’s up with that?

With the warm weather being here and the gardening/landscaping season beginning, we most likely all will experience this to some degree.

So with this question there could be a number of reasons this person was sore, exhausted, short of breath or weak depending on what his version of “killed me” is.

It is true that landscaping work is difficult, but as with other activities or sports that change with the season, we use way different muscle groups when we are out of our comfortable environment.

This is why I keep saying that you need to switch up your program every six weeks. Our bodies get used to what we are doing and we need to shock them into using different muscle groups. That’s why this person was so sore and slept so well each night of landscaping work. This is great.

Now, the reverse is also true, when you did finally return back to the gym you hadn’t used your other muscle groups as much and they are screaming for some love.

As well, you may feel like you had a great rest each night, but you were probably so tired from working so hard each day that your body was exhausted and needed a day of recovery.

Also, were you eating well and feeding your body through these days of work? Lots of times we get so focused on getting done the job at hand that we forget to eat.

If you’re not eating the foods to feed your body it will respond by not functioning for you. No food means no energy which means crappy workouts and no recovery.

At least after a vacation your body is recovered and you have likely been eating a variety of foods.

So, eat well, change up your program regularly and keep up with the yard work.

This column is provided by Peak Fitness. Mrs. Lee Randell is an ACE-certified personal trainer. Contact information and past articles are available at Anyone who wants to begin an exercise program should consult their physician first.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at

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