So I am full of stories today…
Let me tell you another story because it’s another one that’s so applicable to our daily lives and you might look at ice bags and a walk differently going forward.
Recently, an acquaintance of mine volunteered for a local event and share a picture on social media. Upon seeing her post, my mind as a health and fitness coach and trainer took a trip. I wanted to share ‘mind trip’ with you.
Imagine an American woman between 48 and 51 years old with an average body composition of the average female in the USA at that age. This woman is wearing shorts and t-shirt on a sunny day outside. She has a pretty smile on her face and seems happy helping the community by hugging a large ice bag. Her post with her picture said “My intimate relationship with a 22lbs ice bag. It was a real thing this weekend.” Here is where my mind went…
My curious mind wondered…
Did she carry one bag a time like that in picture?
How far did walk holding each bag?
How many trips did she make?
I put my fitness trainer and health coach immediately. This happens all the time and if you are a coach, trainer, or teacher you might resonate with me and the fact that the mind goes to work whenever it sees an opportunity for learning or improvement.
>> Gotta love farmer’s carry walk—by the way, that’s an exercise. One version of it is to walk for 50-100 meters while you hold heavy dumbbells, kettlebells or anything heavy.
This simple exercise strengthens many muscles including your triceps, shoulders, biceps, core, lower body, and forearms or grip which is essential for performing basic yet important activities such as lifting and carrying heavy stuff around especially as we age!
By the way, many studies have recommended grip strength as a “useful indicator for overall health”
There will be a starting weight for everyone, of course. If you do resistance training 2-3 times a week and you often challenge your muscles, grab a 25-pound dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand and walk for 50-100 meters or for 30-60 seconds will get you to feel. No dumbbells or kettlebells, add grab whatever heavy you have around the house. Or add sand to an empty gallon. Don’t have two items of the same weight. No problem, hold a light object overhead and the heavier object by your side.
In the situation I mentioned, how having farmers’ carry as part of workout routine help? Three benefits:
>> She would carry two bags of ice, one per hand, at once. Hence, she’d accomplish the task faster and use this ‘extra’ to knock another task out, relax, or even enjoy the event.
>> She would reduce the risk of back discomfort since most of us would need to curve our backs to hold on tight to a bag.
>> She would strength her triceps and assure she maintained good posture while carrying the bags.
There are many variations of a farmer’s carry. The beauty of it is what makes it awesome too. You can add to workout routines, warm-ups, or as a cash-out—which means you perform a few sets of it at the end, after you’re done with the main portion of your workout, and before you perform your post-workout stretch.
Please understand I am NOT judging her, not at all. I haven’t talked to her in quite some time, actually. My point sharing this story is this….as a coach and trainer, my mind and ears are very attentive to possible ways we can do activities we enjoy and do life better, more efficiently, productive, and healthier so we can do them for as long as we shall live and with least amount of discomfort as possible.
It doesn’t matter if you are volunteering or getting paid for, maybe you’re playing with animals, children, grandchildren, friends. Playing a sport, enjoying nature by walking or jogging on the park or beach or going for a hike. Going grocery shopping. Doing activities inside or outside, including pressure washing your driveway or washing your car on weekends, cutting the grass, cleaning the house, being a ladder to change a light or paint. GOSH, you name it. I hope you get the idea here.
Being intentional with your movement routines so it includes strength and resistance, flexibility, anaerobic, and aerobic to support your life so it’s even more special is a THING, my friend. The earlier you start, the longer you will feel energized and healthier for.