7 simple ways to improve your physical health on the farm

Man sitting in field meditating

It might be hard to believe that improving their physical health is challenging for farmers. On the outside looking in, farming appears to be a reasonably active job. One could argue that this is still true, to an extent. 

Compared to most jobs, farming requires more continuous movement, greater strength & incredible endurance. However, it is not as active as it used to be. At one time, it was down to the farmer to get the job done —or at least be more involved, whereas now machinery and technology play a much more significant role.  

The health risk to farmers in modern times

As a result of machinery and technology lessening the physical load of farming, farmers spend more time sitting than ever. Long stints on tractors, seeders, headers, and time in the office results in farmers not being as fit as they used to be or could be.

Adding to this is the fact that research shows we enjoy a cold beer after a hard day’s work (which is Every day for a farmer) much more than our metropole communities. But not just ‘a’ beer. We are, in fact, in the category of ‘risky drinking’. 

A beer at the end of a long day is a given. Beers at community events or sports events are also a regular occurrence. But it is when something that should be moderate and social affects our behaviour, our emotional responses, and our ability to back it up the next day that problems occur.  

But let’s get real. It’s not as easy as saying “just get healthier”, “just add exercise into your day”, or “stop drinking”. These old paradigms of work, work, work are still very much alive. Where are we supposed to fit exercise into our busy farming program?! And why shouldn’t we enjoy a beer with a mate after a stressful day? However, if we’re serious about our long-term health, there has to be a point where we take responsibility and become aware of what we are doing to our bodies.  

There is only so much we can keep doing or not doing before our body goes on strike. Here at Farm Life Fitness (FLF), we talk a lot about mental health, but we should not forget physical health. We need to get active and stay active. Because even more important than what’s in your bank account, your Health is your wealth. 

Small changes in your daily farming practice can make a big difference.

The good news? Changing your physical fitness doesn’t need a complicated exercise schedule, and you don’t need to overhaul your entire life or stop enjoying the rest time you do have. You can make small changes right now that will immediately impact your body.

Here are seven simple practices you can incorporate into your daily routine that, over time, will make a big difference:

  1. Park your ute further away when you check water troughs.
  2. Stretch when you are sitting in machinery.
  3. One less sugar in your cuppa.
  4. Every time you hit the print button, get up and go get it, don’t save it up into one trip.
  5. Kick the footy or play tag with your kids for just 5 mins before tea.
  6. Ditch the coffee (and phone) before bed to start creating healthier sleep habits.
  7. Dare I say it? Say “no” to that extra beer!

You can implement these changes instantly, yet they can positively impact our physical well-being for many years. They may seem simple but don’t underestimate the importance of cumulative change over the long term. You owe it to your future self to implement these small changes today.

To grab more ideas on how you can build a healthier and more sustainable farming lifestyle, connect with FLF on Instagram or Facebook. Want something more personalised? Reach out to the team at FLF for a chat about how we can help.

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