Can Gardening Count As Exercise?
Gardening is not only a great way to relax and unwind but also a great form of exercise, believe it or not. Everyday gardening activities such as planting, weeding, watering plants, and carrying around equipment activate a variety of muscle groups and can serve as a great calorie burner.
Combine two healthy and enjoyable activities and kill two birds with one stone by working out while improving and expanding your garden – here is how!
What Are the Benefits of Gardening
Gardening is good for you for a whole variety of reasons; whether you’re an expert in backyard landscaping or simply enjoy designing and maintaining your own personal garden, the activity of gardening yields more health benefits than one would assume.
Gardening takes place outside, which on its own, is already beneficial to your body and health. Spending an hour or so gardening gives your body much-needed Vitamin D due to sun exposure. This means that while you’re out planting trees and picking weeds, your body is soaking up a good deal of sunlight, which is essential for regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. This improves muscle health and strengthens your bones and teeth as well.
Gardening is also a great way of getting fresh air and is great for heightening your personal sense of peace of mind.
How Can I Turn Gardening Into A Workout
Gardening requires a lot of different types of physical activity, such as lifting objects, bending over, and walking around. The diverse bodily movements associated with gardening are a great way to get an even workout across the entire body and all its muscle groups.
With that being said, there are ways to ensure that your garden can translate into a great full-body workout.
Ways To Make Your Gardening More Vigorous
1. Create a Routine
Much like exercise, gardening requires commitment, hard work, patience, and maintenance, and the best way to achieve this is by creating a sense of routine. Take time to stretch before you do any heavy lifting, alternate between more manageable and strenuous tasks, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
2. Modify Gardening and Landscaping Activities to Exercise Your Whole Body
Gardening is a task that requires activity from the whole body, so make sure that when you garden, you try and work of much of your body as possible. For example, lifting and carrying equipment and pots is excellent for your arms and shoulders, whereas activities like digging and raking also activate your core. Try your best to work as many muscle groups as you can every time you spend time in your yard.
3. Learn the “Lunge and Weed”
When it comes to weeding, most experts recommend doing this by hand, as it is much better for your garden. This is good news if you are trying to exercise while gardening because it presents a unique opportunity to integrate a great exercise into your gardening process. The lunge is a fantastic resistance exercise that strengthens your core, legs, hips and back while improving your sense of stability and overall balance. Simply lunge down to grab weeds, and you will be improving the overall aesthetic of your garden and your body.
4. Use Large Muscles Whenever Possible
Exercises that train various large muscle groups at once are known as compound exercises. These are a great way to strengthen your overall anatomy. Gardening activities such as raking, or digging are fantastic compound exercises as they activate many muscles in one repetitive movement.
5. Remember to Balance Everything Out
Like any good workout plan, balance is essential for muscle growth and recovery. Ensure to take a rest day or two every week to give your body time to rest and recoup and do your best to alternate your daily gardening tasks to make sure you are not putting too much strain on any particular muscle or muscle group. Using your muscles is excellent exercise but overworking your muscles can cause more harm than growth.
The Positive Effects of Gardening on Mental Health
Gardening is not only great for your body but is also proven to be good for your mind. Exercise by nature is a fantastic serotonin booster, as it releases endorphins within our bodies, but this is not the only mental health benefit of gardening.
Cultivating your own garden is a great way to connect with the Earth and being out amongst the natural world’s beauty can be uplifting.
The act of planting, growing, and nurturing living organisms such as trees and flowers is also a means of lifting one’s mood, as it provides the gardener with a strong sense of purpose and responsibility.
Gardening is also considered a great method to boost one’s self-esteem and increase confidence. When you take care of a plant and see it’s growing you feel that your work pays off.
Eating healthily is a known method of improving one’s mental health, so why not consider growing and consuming your fruit and vegetables? Eating your own homegrown foods is not only cost-effective, but you also can’t get fresher produce anywhere else.
Using gardening as a form of exercise is beneficial to the mind, body, and soul, and using your garden as a means of bodily improvement and your plants as a means of nutrition is a beautiful way to get the most out of your garden.
So, does gardening count as exercise? Absolutely.