Fit ‘n’ Healthy: Tear Down a Greenhouse, Build Up Your Muscles

Summer is just around the corner and with it will come “the lazy days of summer”.

Don’t let all of that hard work through the winter and spring fall by the wayside with margaritas and non-active days.

It’s alright to want to spend time lounging like a cat in the late afternoon sun after a long day’s work, but first let’s get your body moving.

The sun is up earlier and you can be too!

Getting up earlier in the morning, getting in a quick class, an early morning workout or a nice walk-jog outside can be the perfect start to your day.

Plan the night before to get up and moving even 30 minutes earlier than normal: pack your lunch; set your workout clothes at the end of your bed; set your alarm and put it across your room so that you have to get up to turn it off.

Plan for success!

Early morning fitness enthusiasts have more success because they have a lot less excuses and barriers that stop them from getting their workout done in the morning. Really, who is going to call you out for drinks or plan an unexpected meeting at 6 a.m.?

Get a buddy to meet you. Not only is this a safer practice if you are planning an outdoor outing, but you are also more likely to show if you know someone else is counting on you. You will motivate them some days, and some days they will return the favour and drag your butt out of bed.

Buy a summer outfit that you want to look great in, be it a summer dress, shorts or a swimsuit. You are the only one who needs to know about it. Hang it in your room behind your door or in the front of your closet — the more you see it the more committed you will be to fitness regime.

Sure, some may say it’s a shallow goal, but really, if it’s what gets you motivated, I say do it!

If you can’t get up in the morning, say you have kids and no help that early, then plan an afternoon outing to the park or playground. Fly a kite, play on the swings, kick and chase a ball around, think about playing like a kid.

If they are really little, invest in a running stroller. Take them biking. You can be more active, teach your kids to be more active and all get healthier at the same time.

Gardening is also a great summer activity, especially in the springtime when it is mostly hard prep work of digging, pulling, lifting, hauling, hammering, raking, wheelbarrowing, throwing, bending.

You will be re-introduced to muscles you forgot you had.

If you have been working out and staying active all winter, you should find all of those functional movements you’ve been doing will really help in the garden. My son and I tore down an old greenhouse last weekend and it only took us a half hour to get it into pieces small enough to fit into the truck. The next morning I could feel the work in my shoulders from holding that hammer above my head.

Next, I am hoping to get a workout from building a new one, after I get my morning cardio in, of course.

So, if you find yourself this summer getting pulled into the beers on the deck, margaritas on the patio and lounging in the sun chairs, remember you always have options to balance out the active with the lazy.

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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