Gardening as Exercise

Did you know that April is “Gardening Month”?  Well, getting outdoors is not only really healthy for you, but gardening while outdoors can give you amazing health benefits AND give you a way to grow really amazing food for your nutritional needs! Let’s explore some of the health benefits and some great ways to get in a workout this season while in your garden.

what is considered “exercise” when gardening?

In short, everything!  Think about it, when you exercise, you bend, stretch, push, pull, lift, squat, reach, and more.  Those are all the same movements and muscles you use when exercising in the gym!  Push the wheelbarrow, bend to weed, stretch to rake, lift the mulch, reach to plant, squat to set down a pot.  You can burn an incredible 400 calories an hour, just intentionally doing these types of gardening activities!   All you need to do is make it intentional!

how can you exercise when gardening?

When you set out to begin, always check with your doctor first and be sure you’re healthy enough for exercise.  You may need to modify some movements or check out some great tools for those with arthritis.  The recommendation for using gardening as exercise is that you switch up activities every 10 minutes or so.  Another idea is to alternate gardening exercises with strength training and stretching to get even more benefits from your routine.  Don’t go all out at first, either.  If you’ve got a garden, focus on the tasks you’ve been doing, just do them in an exaggerated manner to reap ultimate benefits from your movements.  If you don’t have a garden, just pick a small plot, perhaps 4’X6′ (roughly 1.5X2 meters) and work from there.

best (and easiest) veggies to grow?

This is a great list of the top 13 easiest vegetables to grow in your garden.  Our favorites are all the colors, bush beans (green), beets (red), carrots (orange), and all the amazing herbs to add to your favorite recipes.  Here’s another collection with some additional ideas for easy, healthy vegetables to grow.

 

Have you ever thought about gardening as exercise?  How do you plan to incorporate this new routine into your schedule?  Join the conversation over on Facebook to share your ideas!

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