I decided a few years ago that I was done with desk jobs. I've gone after manual labour jobs like farming and construction and it's fantastic for strength, flexibility and movement. I'm a lot healthier just by being active all day and I love being outside, even working construction during our winters. If you're cold in the winter, just work harder. Plus I get a perma-tan, so that's got to count for something.
A piece of land is worth as much as the person farming it.
-Le Livre du Colon, 1902
I've been sitting too much. Not when I'm working, but during my leisure time. A long distance relationship has caused me to spend a lot of time in public places where I can get Wi-Fi. Voice and video calls for free. I try to mix it up a bit, by sitting in different positions and getting up to walk regularly. When I make calls from where I'm staying, I'm almost always comfortably reclining. But they don't necessarily want you to do that at the coffee shop.
So, I noticed that lately it takes a little longer to get comfortable after I get up and start walking. I'm taking this as a sign that I need to ease up on the sitting. Also being careful to bring in a good pillow so I can turn every seat into a comfortable recliner. I don't need more exercise. In fact sometimes I need a lot less. I'm just going to have to change this one behavior, so I don't wear out something in my lower back.
I love the idea of natural movement for exercise, but it doesn't fit my lifestyle. A life of Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Sailing, Hiking, and Gardening would be great, but it's not in the cards.
I sit at a desk five days a week and work in the food-forest on the weekends. Saturday last week I worked in the garden for 8 hours because I do look at it, not only, as enjoyment but also as beneficial to my well-being. I purposely drop a mulch pile where I will have to load and unload it by hand. I do everything I can with hand tools. I'm kind of a weirdo because I thoroughly enjoy manual labor.
I used to be a runner, but my knees and lower back aren't the best. I neglected my core when I was younger, and this really affects how you carry your body and how you feel.
I love Yoga, and it's a great way to get in touch with what's going on as far as alignment, but I don't get the drenching sweat that really makes me feel good. I think sweating helps your body get rid of toxins too.
Because I don't have the option of being outside all of the time I do CrossFit and core exercises similar to what D. Burton is doing. If I have a three day weekend or something, I will supplement a bodyweight workout with hiking or some other enjoyable endeavor.
My regular exercise routine is 20 minutes of stretching and 30 minutes of cardi-core training. The 30 minutes is intense though., you go from circuit to circuit with as little rest as possible. The actual core workouts cover the front and the back. You don't want to do just the abs and the front core you want to integrate
the lower back and hip flexors because everything works together. The well-rounded core determines how your body fires in motion. If you aren't doing anything, I strongly suggest taking baby steps and just do something you will sleep and feel better.
I am sitting on my bum all day in front of a computer so 2000 cal a day is a myth for me. Eating only once a day (dinner) is enough for me plus 3 days a week heavy exercise mostly using our own body weight within the group fitness classes I join.
After working in the garden for a day, I am completely wasted and can not even lift a finger in the evening. I do what I've learned from stretching classes for about 25 minutes, concentrating on aching muscles and a new me comes out of it.
There are some good free resources for establishing a personal bodyweight program at Nerd Fitness. Most of these you can do at home without any fancy equipment (e.g. a gallon jug instead of a dumbbell).
I've got a set of free weights indoors, but garden and landscaping work gives me a lot of exercise. I spend quite a bit of time working on hugel beds and it's a couple hundred yards of steep incline from my seasonal creek bed up to the yard level where I have my garden and edible landscaping, so walking up out of there with a dead log or a couple 5 gal buckets of dirt is great for cardio and core muscles.
As an ultrarunner I find that the weight kinda falls off if one can run for about 8+ hours/week. Plus it’s great for the mind. As the saying goes, if you haven’t figured out the answer to your problems after a 5 hour run, you probably never will.
All that said, while it’s supposed to be a bit tongue in cheek, the truth in the following rings true, and it’s how I approach exercise.
Bike to work and for errands, move around a lot at work (teacher). Go on walks as social activity with family. skateboard and play baseball a lot. Sometimes canoe, kayak, hang glide, paraglide. Lots of work in the food forest. Decided to create a mini-gym at home so I can be here with the family. Weight training is highly recommended for longevity and injury avoidance. Super cheap: stacked paint cans for weight rack, boogie boards for bench, bleach bottles and pulley, $1 metal bar from Restore, rope for lat pull down machine. Craigs list weights. No fees.