How to Get Fit While Doing DIY
Men love working with their hands. Whether it’s tooling around in the woodshed or fixing something on the inside of the house, men love rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.
You know what men also love? Rock hard abs and a cut chest that would make Rambo proud.
But between work and home and kids and social activities, there’s usually very little time at the end of the day to take care of both of those things. We want to pursue our hobbies, but we also know we need to work out as well.
What if you could do both at the same time?
The dirty little secret of fitness is anything can become a workout if you do one of two things: up the intensity and increase the time. Go faster and harder on the things that you would normally do (safely, of course), and do them for longer periods of time than you normally would. That’s it. Pretty simple, huh?
When it comes to DIY tasks around the house, the combination of hobbies and exercise is even easier.
Here’s a list of some ways you can take some of those regular hobbies and use them to get in shape as well.
1. Skip the Electricity
Have you ever watched the Great Outdoor Games? If you have, you’ve most likely seen those huge, hulking men with the gigantic band saw between them cutting a five-foot tree trunk in half using nothing but sweat and good, old-fashioned muscle power.
They make it look so effortless that it almost makes you wonder if they even enjoy using a chainsaw, or if that’s just something for us mere mortals.
Those people have the bodies they do because they work for it. Hour after hour after hour of cutting and slicing have helped them pack on layers of functional strength.
So the next time you decide to engage in a little bit of hobbying, skip the power tools and stick with the hand-powered items. Use a regular screwdriver instead of your lithium set. Pick up a hand saw when you’re tempted to go the circular saw.
Substitute muscle for electricity and your muscles will be screaming at you in no time.
2. Pick Up the Speed
The key word for this section is safety. If something can’t be done quickly and safely at the same time, do not sacrifice your health for a stopwatch.
That being said, there are plenty of options for you to pick up the speed while doing DIY: sanding edges, sweeping the floors, or swapping out parts. If you’ve performed the same action so many times you know it by heart, set a stopwatch and see if you can beat your speed every different time you do it.
Some even keep a scoreboard in their garage; seems a little extreme, but whatever motivates you to do your best.
3. Embrace Isometrics
If you’re unfamiliar with the word “isometrics,” don’t be alarmed: it’s not nearly as intimidating as you may think.
Isometrics is simply exercise that is static, where your muscles don’t contract at all and you keep everything firmly in place. A plank is a perfect example of this: by staying in the upper part of a pushup, you work your muscles as they’re forced to hold you in the air for longer periods of time.
Where can you incorporate isometrics into your DIY hobbies?
If you’re carrying a piece of wood that is especially heavy, hold it out in front of you straight-armed for 15-20 seconds a time, or more if that’s too easy. Reaching down to pick up a tool? Hold yourself in the squat position for a full minute and feel your legs start to burn.
Just about any motion you can perform dynamically can be done statically as well, forcing your muscles to work harder as you hold a position firmly in place.
4. Don’t Sit
Sitting has been linked to an early death; if you don’t believe me, check out the research for yourself. If you’re like most hobbyists, however, you most likely have your workbench set up with all your tools and a tall, cushy stool parked right next to it.
Ditch the stool.
Get yourself a standing or anti-fatigue mat and force yourself to stand for the entire duration of the activity. You may only last an hour at first, but eventually, you’ll get to the point where you can stand for longer periods of time.
Who knows, you may even get rid of the stool permanently. It probably just got in the way anyway, right?
Just a few small changes and you’ll already see the difference in your body. Stay active, keep moving and those abs will soon show up!