How Gardening Helps You Lose Weight

The many benefits of gardening, both health-wise and environmentally, is widely reported on print sources, social media, and word-of-mouth. There are cost-reduction benefits, familial bonding opportunities, and positive impact on a person’s mental health.

Whether the thought of saving money to offset rising grocery costs attracts you or the thought of preparing a meal for your family using fresh produce grown together while bonding as a family intrigues you; the fact of gardening can help you lose weight definitely will!

Yes, this is true! Gardening can help you lose weight by stretching the body in a variety of positions and can help target different muscle groups of the body during the constant movement gardening entails.

A source of relaxation, a stress-relieving exercise and a reason to escape out of the house to enjoy some “me” time surrounded by nature; it should come as no surprise that more people are taking up the art of gardening.

Level of Intensity

As with any type of exercise, the number of calories burned lost depends on the intensity of movement and the length of time spent completing the task. An exercise would have to continue for approximately 30 minutes to be considered relevant.

Consistent movement from weeding to planting to harvesting will allow a person to burn calories and target the entire body. The act of stretching forward to reach a particular spot in your garden can engage the core muscles, causing the pleasant burn of exercise.

Depending on the task performed, the intensity will vary, creating the same interval workouts popular in most fitness classes.

Muscle Groups Targeted

While gardening, it is not one muscle group that feels the burn but rather multiple groups; even at the same time depending on the task!

All of the major muscle groups that are targeted during a typical gardening session would fall into one of the following categories:

  •         Legs
  •         Buttocks
  •         Arms
  •         Shoulders
  •         Neck
  •         Back
  •         Abdomen

There is generally a high amount of stretching during each individual gardening session, which would take help replace the acts of both a. The acts of pulling weeds and extending to rake mulch or soil in place would be considered stretches in a gym-style setting whereas the acts of lifting bags of mulch or soil, pushing a wheelbarrow and shoveling would be considered similar to weight training as there is a natural resistance in the earth you are trying to move.

The great thing about gardening is that while it can mimic the same exercises a personal trainer would put you through; it not nearly as jarring to the joints of the body as is a routine that includes something such as aerobics or jogging.

Tips

If you are not used to physical activity or it has been a while since you established a workout routine; always remember to start out slow and work your way up to full gardening sessions. If you over-work your muscles, they can cramp or seize or even spasm!

If an activity creates pain that lasts for more than 24 hours, then a person would not be so eager to repeat said activity.

Individuality

A garden can be used to express creativity and act as a person’s oasis when faced with the same routine day after day. If you design your garden to bring certain feelings within your mind and body; then it seems less than a chore and more like a reward.

Consider decorating your garden with benches and bright eye-catching patio stones to enhance a cozy atmosphere. Alternate rows of produce with flowers and lush vegetation for a pleasing visual effect.

String lights through the trees for a warm glow or use to highlight the pathway between your rows of produce or use these solar lights to lend a magical feel throughout your garden. The use of outdoor solar lights is gaining popularity among gardeners because it eliminates the worry of a power source to the lights and the addition to a household’s electricity usage. Solar lights differ from traditional strung lights as they can be used along the ground or placed strategically throughout trees and hedges. Powered by the sun during the daylight hours, they generally have a sturdy base and a spiked end for easy installation.

Conclusion

While gardening would not be strenuous enough to forsake heading to the gym or supplementing your workout routine with other forms of exercise such as hiking or cycling; it is definitely a welcome addition to work those muscles that might not always get a proper workout when left to your own devices. Gardening is a relaxing activity and to think it is exercise at the same time makes it all that more attractive! Another great perk? The extra money in your pocket once you stop buying fresh produce at the exorbitant prices some retailers are requesting.

 

Image courtesy of [acambium64] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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