When people hear the word "exercise" the image that would immediately come into their minds is a person running on a treadmill. But there is actually more than a dozen of other ways to stay fit and healthy. Even pastimes like gardening, for instance, can be a good workout. This makes it a good idea to get that green thumb of yours working.
Full Body Workout
Gardening gives a full workout for the body particularly for the major groups of muscles in the legs, arms, shoulders, neck, buttocks, back and abdomen. The tasks that you need to do in order to put up a garden and cultivate it into a full bloom could burn calories and build muscle strength.
Flexibility and Bone Strength
Gardening activity also entails you to do a lot of stretching. When you reach for tall branches, bend to pull the weeds or extend the rake, you hardly notice it but you're in fact improving your flexibility and range of motion. Other tasks like lifting the bags of fertilizers and shoveling have similar effects as weight lifting, which promotes stronger bones and joints.
As mentioned earlier, gardening burns a lot of calories, so obviously it's ideal if you're looking into shedding some pounds. Digging holes can burn 150 to 197 calories. Cultivating plants can make you lose 135 to 177 calories. Weeding sheds off about 150 calories. According to the National Institute of Health, engaging in gardening activities for 30 to 45 minutes a day can combat obesity. It has almost the same effect as biking five miles or walking two miles for 30 minutes.
Your physical health isn't the only thing that benefits from this activity but so is your emotional and mental health. Like any other physical activity, gardening releases serotonin and other feel-good brain chemicals that can instantly boost the mood. Apart from that, there is also that feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that you get when you see your hard work transform into lush beautiful plants. Just being surrounded by fragrant flowers and colorful plants is more than enough to make you feel happy.
Other Health Benefits
A 30-minute dose of gardening tasks daily lowers levels of blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthens joints, lowers the risk for diabetes and osteoporosis, and decreases likelihood to succumb to depression.
Get the Most Out of Gardening Workout
Like other forms of exercise, you need to do this right in order for you to reap the benefits. For one, you need to at least spend 30 minutes doing gardening tasks to enjoy the health benefits of this activity. You don't have to dig a hole for 30 minutes straight. Breaking up this into shorter active periods of at least 8 minutes per task until you reach the quota of 30 minutes can help you reap the rewards.