BUY THE BOOK
Use this PayPal button to buy Life Along the Apalachicola River directly from me for $15 + $4.99 shipping.
Exercise is a lot like work in that no matter how much you enjoy it, it loses its appeal when you need or have to do it. That’s why it’s best if you can incorporate exercise into something else you’re already doing.
Fortunately for hunters and fishermen, this isn’t a problem. We’ve got our own workouts that don’t require a gym or weights or anything made by Ronco. As an added bonus, we do them without even thinking in most cases.
This list is by no means complete, but here are just a few of the routines that are a regular part of our normal outdoor activities:
Low-Limb/High-Log Lunge: This is for your legs, back and stabilizer muscles. You do it when you’re hunting and get to that one spot where you have to quietly duck under a tree branch or vine while simultaneously stepping over a log.
Modified version: Just as you take the step, you see a deer and freeze in position until it looks away.
Advanced version: Same as the modified, only the deer is a buck and you now have to slowly lift your gun or draw your bow without moving your feet.
Boat-Bank Split: Performed most often while fishing, this maneuver improves flexibility in your groin and hamstring. To execute it properly, just step from the bow of your boat onto a high bank. The key is to push backward with your boat foot while stepping forward with your shore foot. You’ll get a good stretch during that brief moment gravity allows you to stay upright. And, you’ll burn some calories swimming back to the hill.
Squirrel Seeker Sidestep: This is a good coordination exercise that involves keeping your eyes fixed on the highest limbs of a tree while walking sideways around the base, trying not to blink or trip while you do. Incidentally, squirrels will often do their own version of this workout right along with you. Note: Squirrels are usually much better at it.
Trash Fish Tug & Toss: The first part of this routine involves using your chest, arms and back to haul in a big fish you think is a keeper. When you find out it’s a blackfish, carp, saltwater catfish or the like, you execute the second maneuver: See how far away from your fishing hole you can sling it. Pay attention to form as well as distance.
Dove Hunter Duck Walk: Dove season is here, so it’s a good time to work on this exercise for your calves, thighs and arms. The object is to get to the best spot in the dove field. But the trick is that you have to stay low enough not to scare the birds, while moving fast enough to beat your buddies there. Also, you have to carry your shotgun and all your gear.
Cast Net Curls: Throwing a cast net is a great upper body workout on its own. But if you want to take it to the next level, try throwing around oyster bars. This adds weight as you hoist up an additional 10 to 20 pounds of oysters and it forces you to suspend the load with one hand while you try to shake the clumps loose from the net with the other.
Like most exercise plans, this one offers no guarantees for success and has not been certified by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, the next time your doctor tells you to start working out, let him or her know that you already do.
And if your spouse or boss complains about the time you’re spending in the woods, remind them it’s part of your healthy lifestyle.