This post may contain affiliate links to products to help readers start gardening for exercise. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Anyone who has spent time gardening knows that after they’re done, they feel like they’ve had a workout. That’s because they have.
When you garden, you’re engaging in low impact exercise and like other forms of exercise, gardening can reduce stress.
So when you have a garden, not only do you get to enjoy healthy foods and beautiful flowers, but you’re staying fit as well. Studies have shown that the movements associated with the tasks in gardening qualify as low impact exercises.
In some cases, this exercise is considered to be moderate or high on the exercise rating scale. You can work in your garden and gain the same exercise benefit you’d get if you’d walked a few miles or rode a stationary bike.
The more you do in your garden physically, the more health benefits you’ll stand to gain from it. Though it’s best to make sure you have at least 30 minutes of low impact exercise, when it comes to gardening, most people get well over that amount.
You’re spending time lowering your stress while you’re gardening and in the process, every part of your body is undergoing a workout. From the core muscles down to your thighs and calf muscles – you’re working out.
Gardening is the Ultimate Holistic Workout
As you garden, your muscles are becoming stronger, you’re using up calories, and shedding fat and pounds at the same time. What you would normally do when you hit the gym is included in gardening including the stretching.
When you pull weeds or reach for an item, that’s the same as stretching before a workout. If you’ve always wondered about resistance training exercises, you even get those when you garden.
As you pick up soil or fertilizer and haul it around, you’re engaging in resistance training.
When you have to hoe or shovel or move your wheelbarrow from one place in the garden to the next, that all adds resistance and you build muscle from it.
But even though you’re gaining an excellent workout, you don’t have to worry about the stress to your joints because it’s all low impact.
For every hour that you plant or weed in the garden, you’re losing about 290 calories.
Your body stands to gain a lot when you garden as a way to relieve stress.
You’ll become more mobile. Your muscles and joints will be stronger. Certain health issues can be helped such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Growing tasty foods or enjoying beautiful flowers can result from you choosing to garden to get rid of stress. Ending up with a stronger, firmer body is an added bonus.
Top Gardening Exercise Tips – Burn Calories While Gardening
Are you lucky enough to have a garden? If you are, you probably love spending time in it, using it to help relax and unwind after a tough day at work.
If not, it’s time to start gardening!
Try these techniques to get fit while gardening.
If you see a few fallen leaves laying on the floor of your garden, grab an outdoor broom and sweep them away. Sweeping could burn as many as 200 calories per hour. Just ensure that you are sweeping hard and fast, as this will get your heart beating in no time at all.
Using a rake is an even bigger calorie burner than sweeping, burning as many as 300 calories every hour. After you’ve trimmed your lawn, grab a rake and use it to make huge piles of the grass, which can then be hauled away.
Trim the trees.
A good calorie burner is trimming or pruning the trees in your garden. Invest in good pruning spears. You will probably have to climb up to the branches, plus the sawing is hard work too. Just a few minutes pruning the dead branches from the trees in your garden will give you a good workout.
Gardening Exercise Benefits of Digging
When you dig, you’re using your back, arms, shoulders, core, and leg muscles. It really is a great form of exercise that will get you breathing heavily in no time at all. Whether you’re digging holes for some new plants or turning over soil, it’s a great way to get fitter.
Similar to digging, hoeing is a good exercise that is useful for turning over the soil to remove those annoying weeds. It can be especially hard when working on rocky ground. Just a few short minutes and you will have worked up quite a sweat.
Squat when weeding for more gardening exercise benefits
Instead of using a chair or kneeling while you weed, use the opportunity to get a leg workout in. Each time you reach down for a weed, squat into position and hold the position until your legs start to burn. If you can avoid sitting or kneeling, your legs will get a great workout.
Carpentry can be hard work and is another way to get fit while gardening. Perhaps you could think about building a new greenhouse, chicken coop, garden box. Or maybe you can even build a playhouse/treehouse if you have children. Not only are you getting a good workout, but you’re also adding value to your home.
Cut your lawn.
Forget about a ride-on lawnmower. Use a lawnmower that you can push. If you use it around your lawn, you’ll no doubt be sweating and out of breath by the time you finish.
Using a wheelbarrow is a good workout for your core, forearms, arms, shoulders, and back. It gives you an excellent upper body workout while ensuring that you’re leaving your garden nice and tidy.
Using your garden for working out may seem easier said than done. Consider these ideas of what you can do to get fit while keeping your garden looking beautiful.
Another benefit of working outdoors is that you are getting some fresh air and plenty of vitamin D from the sunlight, which are both important for your good health.
The Physical Reward to Using Gardening For Exercise & Stress Relief
Gardening has often been prescribed as an anecdote to mental suffering such as stress and anxiety.
Digging in the earth, enjoying the warm sunshine and watching living things grow are huge stress-relieving rewards for your gardening efforts.
Beyond the obvious benefits of mental restoration, gardening activity offers physical rewards in the form of restored health and vigor to your body.
When you feel good from being outdoors and creating something substantial in the way of beauty or food from the garden, your sense of well-being will multiply tenfold.
Studies show that gardeners have more optimism and appreciation for life than non-gardeners.
The good thing is that you only need some houseplants or a small space in a window or on a patio to get both mental and physical satisfactions from gardening.
As well as being a great anti-depressant, gardening is also great for what ails the body.
You can greatly lower your risk of osteoporosis as you age by getting the physical exercise you can get from gardening.
Your bones are improved by the natural movement and activity you gain from gardening.
One amazing scientific study found that women who engaged in gardening activities and work in the yard had much lower rates of osteoporosis than even swimmers and joggers.
Carrying loads of soil and compost, pulling weeds, digging holes and bending over to plant tend to keep osteoporosis from attacking your body.
And, the mental satisfaction may also ward off stress that leads to bone and muscle problems.
More Physical Rewards of Gardening for exercise & Stress Relief
Another physical benefit of gardening is the rest you receive afterward.
Studies with those who have problems with anxiety and forgetfulness show that gardening promotes better sleep and rest – boosting physical stamina.
One factor in managing diabetes is getting enough exercise. Gardening can provide at least 150 minutes per week of well-needed exercise – especially for those who have sedentary jobs.
Fresh produce is another factor in gaining physical health from gardening.
The more healthy changes you can make to your diet, the better you’ll feel. You can also better maintain a healthy weight by eating fresh veggies and fruits from your garden.
Whether gardening to bring beauty into your life or to eat and become healthier, being outdoors and creating from nature’s bounty can work wonders in your life.
There are many books and online help available for beginning gardeners and so many fun ways to garden.
You can choose from Tower gardening, hydroponic gardening, raised bed gardening and many more types. They can all provide the mental and physical boost you need to keep your health in check. In addition, they can all provide many hours of fun and relaxation to your life.
Decide to create as much or as little gardening activity in your life as you want and need. If you dread going to the gym, gardening is a great exercise to begin a journey that will provide physical wellness.
If you suffer from stress-related physical problems, try gardening as a fun and relaxing way to nourish the soul and the body.
Ready to get started? Click here, to learn how to use gardening for exercise. stress relief and relaxation.