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Why Vegetable Gardening is WAY Better For You Than the Gym

I’m a healthy, but not a very sporty person. I don’t really get into team sports or events and I would rather do a beehive inspection naked than go to the football or cricket.

The last time I worked out with a personal trainer, I suspected he was indulging some sick sadist fantasy and trying to make me his submissive. He even made me sign a contract, with some very fine print I couldn’t read as my glasses had fogged over when I hyperventilated from forced exertion.

I have considered joining the Whitford City Walkers, as the idea that marching around the mall for a bit of window shopping before concluding at a cafe for a discount coffee and cake combo is appealing…..

A fresh produce store, just outside my front door…

This phobia apathy for most forms of “exercise” is because I find it hard to believe that humans have evolved to such a point where we have to enter a modern day torture chamber gym to work off the excesses of our convenient, fast paced lifestyle.

On paper it looks ridiculous “I hope that one day, I can work so hard, and become so rich that I need to go to the gym and increase my carbon footprint by using electrically powered equipment to work out my stress, make up for the fact that I sit down all day and otherwise have no time for recreation ….”

To me, going to the gym is about bourgeois as a super large, sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with light whip and extra syrup to go. With sprinkles…

That said, inside my old business ideas notebook is idea #346, a kinetic gym that actually generated power. I would totally maybe join a gym like that. The idea was, that as you pedal, or jazzercise or lift weights, the kinetic movement would be delivered to the power grid as a form of green energy.

You would be altogether buff, smug and environmentally friendly. I was going to call it Grid Rocked.

But, like idea #254, the “Real Doll” Escort Agency, Hello, Dolly! and idea #122 Custom made organic skincare, Prescribed Beauty, they remain in my journal like little unplanted seeds.

Which is probably not such a bad thing. My high school accounting teacher once told me she thought I was “ahead of my time” and I’m not entirely sure she ment it in a complimentary way.

Anyway, back to my main point which is, why go to the gym when you can start a vegetable garden?

We were treated to some glorious, sunny, un-winter weather this weekend. I cleaned out the chook pen, swept all the pavement pathways, weeded some veggie beds, planted broccolini and broad beans. I spun my compost barrels, I cleaned up all the kids outdoor toys and I put down a little mulch. I planted some seedlings in my greenhouse too.

Sure, these activities didn’t overly exert me, but if I had picked up the pace of my sweeping, it would have probably had me puffing…. It was a light duties day in the garden. But I have also had days when I am hoe-ing, tilling, carting soil, compost and manure which is pretty respectable cardiovascular action.

It was just glorious to be outside, enjoying the fresh air, a little vitamin D from the sunshine. I got to play in the dirt and give my immune system a nudge. Plus, I was engaged in an activity that delivers healthy food to our plates. I spent most the time in the cheerful company of my kids.

Husband wryly noted that another benefit to a day outside was that I was otherwise not out on the town, shopping and spending money. (But Darling, that’s what the internet is for…)

Best of all, I didn’t have to pay money to wear Lycra or watch my reflected self furiously pedal an electrically powered bike to nowhere under fluorescent light.

It’s win, win, win all round if you ask me. Except for maybe the housework, which tends to suffer when I’m in the garden.

But, a rainy day will solve that problem.

So what do you think? Would you consider transferring your time and money from the gym to a veggie patch?