Fitness update 2009 #16

I have no idea what my weight is today. I haven’t weighed myself since the last time. There are many reasons but none worth sharing right now other than to say it just didn’t happen.

What I do want to share is my exercise the past few weeks. If you’ve read my recent posts, you know we are currently heating with firewood because we ran out of heating oil and are broke. Well, Friday was deposit day and after paying the bills, hubby thinks there will be enough left to have the oil filled. *BUT* we still need to heat with wood or we’ll run out before we can afford to fill again.

So, he’s going to put a timer on the furnace. It will go on probably 1am and off at 6 or 7. If we keep the thermostat low, that should keep the house from getting too cold overnight and get the the oil to last for almost 3 months. Then we burn wood during the day. Thus, stretching the wood supply and oil.

What does all this have to do with fitness? I’m #1 wood chopper this year since my husband’s neck is on the mend. Our maintenance man said he’ll do the chainsaw cutting it into stove lengths but I’ll have to split it. That means at least once a day but usually more, I have to split the wood. Doing so requires swinging a 15 pound maul (like a sledgehammer with an axe tip on one end) up over my head and down onto the wood. Hard. Hopefully resulting in a nice pop and usually flying wood off the chopping block. However, for large or stubborn pieces, it can take several hits to finally get it to split.

My arms are getting nicely toned, even my triceps and shoulders, which for me tend to be stubbornly flabby. My back hasn’t hurt any more after getting over the initial stiffness. That alone is good reason to keep it up.

One factor to good wood splitting I discovered is proper follow through. You want to try to split the bottom of the piece of wood, not the top. You need to keep the downward force going or you may only split it halfway. Using your abs for this is key. I’m sure my abs are more toned because of it.

So wood splitting is good all around core exercise. The drawback is that it’s pretty hard on your joints (especially arms and hands) since it’s high impact (literally). I found this out the hard way day before yesterday. I was chopping away and missed. The handle hit the wood instead of the head. That meant instead of the wood absorbing the shock, my thumb did. It’s still sore a little tonight.

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2 Responses

  1. My husband enjoys splitting wood, he will get started and finds it very hard to stop, I think it is a combination of satisfaction as the split wood piles up, and the rhythm of the work that is comforting. I have never split wood, at our house my job is to stack the wook as it is split 🙂

  2. Martine,
    This is my first year splitting it. In the past, I’d split only if we ran out and he wasn’t home. My job too was haul and stack but now the kids have taken that over.

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