Bend, twist, push, grunt… squat, reach, pull, grunt…
That is my work out, no not at the gym but in my garden. Although you may not feel sexy working out in the garden wearing old sweats and covered in dirt but try changing your gym workout to a garden workout and watch the results both physically and mentally. Not to mention all the tasty veggies and fruits your garden will yield for your new healthier diet. It is time to say goodbye to boring exercises and pick up a shovel and start sexy gardening.
Did you know that researchers estimate that gardening burns on average 300 calories per hour and digging burns twice the calories per minute over biking and aerobic workouts at the gym? The best part is that everyone, young and old, men and women will benefit from gardening and anyone can do it. Strength, endurance and flexibility are all key elements of your gardening workout. From weeding to turning over the soil to raking leaves, you will get a complete workout! Of course, to feel the full effects you have to unplug the leaf blower and electric trimmers, pick up a rake and bend to pick the weeds.
There are healing effects too. People who are recovering from an injury or physical ailment will notice improved coordination and renewed strength. Physical therapists have been known to use gardening as therapy to renew damaged muscles. If you are injured or have physical ailments, it is always important to check with your physician before starting any form of exercise.
Not only is gardening, with all the colors and soothing aromas, good for you physical health it is a wonderful form of stress management and promotes a sense of mental well-being. Studies prove that spending time in nature can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and is more effective at reducing cortisol (stress hormones) levels than if you stayed inside reading a book. Therapists are using gardening as a tool to help those suffering from depression and stroke.
To achieve the full benefit try sticking to a regular routine in the garden just as you would the gym. Instead of spending all day Saturday, spend 30 minutes a day three times a week in the garden. Be sure to follow the same safety tips too. Stretch before and cool down after. Remember to lift with your knees, drink plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun.
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