We used to belong to Lifetime Fitness. We joined it several years ago because they had a great daycare room, an indoor and outdoor pool, rock climbing, basketball courts, exercise classes and LOTS of cardio equipment and weight machines. I can’t work out during the day, since I work, so I used to go after school. Now, I am running kids around from 4:00 to 8:00 most nights and somehow lack the mental strength to hit the gym after that. I still justified the membership with the fact that they had both indoor and outdoor pools. Outdoor pools in Chicago = 3 months of use. Last summer was so cold that it was less than that. Then my oldest child turned 12 and they charged her as an adult. For a gym we never seemed to find time to get to?

My husband wanted to join a cheaper gym, and since he is the only one who works out these days, I couldn’t argue. Our church has a great gym – better than a hotel gym, much smaller than Lifetime – that is close and never busy. We joined over spring break. It is now almost 2 months later and I haven’t been there yet.

The good news is that I found something even better than the gym. I decided to work on my garden yesterday. Now I use the term “garden” loosely. It is two small fenced areas on the side of my house. I haven’t touched it since I pulled out the pathetic plants from last year’s cold summer. Grass and weeds have started to grow in the gardens and the dirt was hard as a rock. I saw a tool on TV that breaks up the ground. It looks like the letter “T” with four prongs on the bottom. I asked my husband to pick one up for me at the store yesterday.

Let me tell you, it works great. I broke up all the dirt and pulled all the weeds. It was a nice cardio workout. However, I realized a short time later, and even more so this morning, that it works out EVERY muscle group in your body from your neck to your ankles.

So there you have it. No need for a fancy gym. You just need to buy this $30.00 gardening tool and use it in the clay that we call soil in Illinois!