Health Benefits of Gardening:
How to Reap The Benefits:
It’s not hard to turn your garden into your fitness center. I’ve found that relatively little gardening is required to meet your body’s quota for physical activity. If you’re doing intense work (i.e. gardening hard enough that it makes your breathing fast), you can get all the exercise you need from an hour and fifteen minutes each week.
Moderate gardening can be enough to get the job done if you spend more than two and a half hours on it every week (provided you’re working up a sweat!). That’s all it takes to get you the aerobic exercise you need!
If you’re getting in at least two good gardening sessions every week, you’ll be preserving and improving the strength of your muscles, too.
How to Avoid Injury:
Despite what I’ve just laid out, I urge you not to push yourselves too hard in the garden. A few reminders:
- Don’t jump right into extended sessions of strenuous labor; build up your skills and abilities over time.
- Pay attention to your body’s warning signs and call it quits when you feel seriously fatigued.
- Finally, be careful with your back by keeping lifting to a minimum. Move heavy loads along the ground whenever possible.
It’s always a good idea to start a serious gardening session by stretching, doing so will warm your body up. Below is a stretching sequence you can do before you put your green thumb to good use.
Lateral Stretch (Shoulders And Back)
Start standing straight up with your feet together. Don’t lock your knees. Place your left hand on your hip and stretch your right hand up as far over your ear as you can. Flex your core to lean to your left and let your right arm move that way. (Keep your stomach in to preserve proper form!) Reverse your arms and repeat the move on the other side.
Forward Bend (Back, Shoulders, Legs, And Chest)
As before, you should stand with your knees slightly bent and your feet together. Put your arms behind your back and clasp your fingers together. Relax your neck, arms, and shoulders as much as possible. Lift your arms up straight to shoulder level. Keep your weight spread evenly between your feet and hold this pose while breathing deeply.
Supine Twist (Back)
Lie down with your knees bent. Spread your arms to your sides with your palms up. Twist both knees to the right and turn your head to your left. Don’t let your shoulders leave the floor. Inhale when you’ve stretched your knees as far as they can go. Bring your knees back up and then stretch them the other way while exhaling.
Would be good to have:
I’ve always found gardening to be a terrific way to boost your mood, calm your mind, and increase your happiness. The fact that it can keep your body healthy too is a terrific bonus! From lowering your blood pressure to encouraging the release of positive endorphins that make you feel great, working in the garden is a foolproof way to stay healthy!