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Cross training at home, with a shovel

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published April 1, 2014

I did some serious cross training last weekend.

In my front yard. With a shovel.

Lots of folks head to the gym for a workout, when they could head into their garden - or better yet, my garden! - instead.

My husband and I are tearing out the strip of grass that grows between the sidewalk and the street in front of our house so I can replace it with native plants. Less watering, more interesting.

Have you tried digging out grass lately? It’s as good as a Crossfit workout.

I spent several hours Sunday afternoon stabbing the ground with a shovel, punching it deeper with my heel and scooping out little clumps of hard-baked dirt and weeds. That, plus raking through the dirt to skim out roots, turned my afternoon project into a first-rate exercise session.

It felt good. And it felt real. I was doing something I needed to do, plus getting a kick-butt workout in as a bonus. I had sore muscles on Monday - plus a big patch of freshly-turned soil. And I didn’t even have to pay for a gym membership.

Which brings me to my point. You don’t have to spend money to get fit. All you need is a home project or two. And who doesn’t have one of those?

I’m only half-way through my grass-removal project. Need a workout? You’re welcome to come over and help me finish.