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Your old gym membership card sits defunct in a drawer somewhere. Any fitness equipment sitting in your house does little more than collect dust, and all the while your muscle mass just keeps deflating despite the farm work you do each day. You might have planned to tone up at one point, but the thought stopped you in your tracks before you could even start. Well don’t you fret. Now you can take baby steps towards getting into better shape with toning exercises at home without the fancy equipment. Really!

Try some of the following suggestions for firming up those arms, abs, thighs, buttocks, and other areas:

Wall Push-ups

Just standing around waiting for the pressure cooker to get up to the right temperature? Do some wall push-ups, these will help tone the arms and pectorals. Facing a wall, hold your arms out in front of you and place your hands on the wall, shoulder-width apart. Spread your feet shoulder-length apart as well. Lean forward until your chin almost (or actually) touches the wall between your hands, making sure your heels still touch the floor. Do this as often as you want throughout the day in repetitions of 10, 20, etc. But don’t go overboard and render your upper body useless!

Chair Sit-ups

You started working on a fabulous quilt in your project room. You’ve been at it for hours. You just realized that if you don’t do something to break the monotony you’ll lose it. So do this: sit sideways on your chair close to the edge. Position your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Lower your torso down until you’re almost horizontal with the seat of the chair, breathing in as you go down. Stay for a second, then lift your torso back into a sitting position, exhaling on the way up and keeping your feet on the ground. Repeat this tummy toning exercise for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Squeeze-Your-Muscles Arm Lifts

Did you just open your fridge and reach for the milk or water jug? Why not squeeze your arm muscles as you lift slowly and release them as you lower your arm? Switch arms as you return the item(s) to the fridge. Turn it into a workout by lifting with one hand at a time and use the other to brace yourself against a wall or tabletop (to keep your balance and help maintain posture) and do 3 sets of 10 reps for each arm.

Kitchen Sumo Squats

Tone your thighs, buttocks and legs while you putter around in the kitchen preparing meals, washing dishes, etc. Sumo squats are perfect for kitchen activities since you might need to turn your feet outward if you’re standing at the counter.

Unlike regular squats, you’ll be standing with your feet wider than shoulder-width and your toes turned slightly outward. Squat down, pushing your hips back but keeping your chest up. Keep your knees turned slightly outward. Return to the standing position to complete one rep. Start with 1-3 sets of 6 reps, it all depends on your skill level. You don’t want to overdo it with anything that keeps you from getting around the farm the next day!

Step-Stepper Exercises

If your home is up on a raised foundation, then this next one is definitely for you. Here you’ll use the top or bottom step of any staircase available to you. Step up with one foot, then the other, and back down with one foot following the other. For a bigger challenge, move up or down an extra step. This tones your thighs and lower legs too, and you can do these exercises in increments of 5-10 minutes at a time, as often as you can manage daily.

Bum Squeezes

Here’s a funny exercise that works sitting or standing. Firm up the buttocks by simply squeezing your butt cheeks together for a few seconds, then release and repeat. Do this for 5-10 minutes, several times a day. Combine it with Kegels and you just hit this one out of the park! 🙂

Toning your thighs, stomach, arms, and more just got a little easier. With some thinking outside the box and creativity, you can come up with more simple, easy exercises and routines to start and maintain. Give it a try. You just might be amazed at the results!

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Small-Scale Agribusiness Opportunities

Agribusiness is a business that involves agricultural production. People all over the world make their living by raising livestock and large-scale crop production, but there are also ways you can make money with a small-scale agricultural operation. Here are some ideas for agribusiness opportunities that don’t need acres of space.

Raising Rabbits

You can raise rabbits for their meat, hides and urine (which is used as manure). Rabbit farming has great potential as a small agribusiness because it requires a relatively small capital investment. Rabbits reproduce quickly — many can start breeding from four months old — and they produce a healthy meat that is popular as a delicacy in many parts of the world.

Raising Poultry

There are many breeds of poultry to raise for eggs, meat and feathers. You can choose layers for eggs, broilers for meat, or certain breeds of rooster for the hackle feathers, which are in demand for fly-fishing lures. Broilers kept for meat mature very quickly compared to laying breeds. With proper feeding, vaccination and maintenance, you can make a decent income from the sale of poultry products.


Hydroponics is a relatively new technology that grows plants without soil, using only water and nutrients. It is increasingly popular everywhere from developing countries to major urban centers, where space is at a premium and outdoor gardens are impractical. Popular crops include lettuce, chard, tomatoes, root vegetables and fruits, though out-of-season flowers are also profitable. The advantages of hydroponic production are that it requires little space and crops mature quickly.


Aquaculture is the rearing of aquatic products such as fish, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Fish farming is the most common option, with tilapia and catfish the most popular. Another market is ornamental fish for aquariums in homes and offices. Aquatic animals are a good source of lean protein and will therefore always be in demand. And there is also the trend of combining aquaculture with hydroponics (aquaponics) as a way to expand your business opportunities.

These are just a few of the many agribusiness opportunities available for small-scale production. In addition to raising agricultural products, you can consider expanding into processing — making sausages from rabbit meat, for example, provides another earning opportunity. Picture yourself just doing it!

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