Healthy Exercise

Gardening is a good form of healthy exercise. When you're bending and lifting, planting and hauling, all of the major muscle groups are being used. Your entire body is capable of getting a workout.

According to the National Center for Chronic Disease, a moderate amount of gardening, just 30-45 minutes per day can:

healthy exercise

  • help build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints
  • help control weight
  • reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure or help reduce blood pressure in those who already have high blood pressure
  • reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
  • promote psychological well-being

If you're unable to spend a full 30 minutes in the garden at one time, spread out the 30 minutes per day into three 10 minute sessions. All-day gardening marathons are unhealthy. It's much better for you and your body to alternate exercise with rest.

It's best to plan on doing some of the lighter gardening chores before getting into the more strenuous activities such as deep digging or heavy lifting.

Walk around the garden to organize yourself, stretch, and warm up your muscles a bit. Gently bend over and pull a few weeds to stretch and flex your muscles.

The gentle bending and stretching is how gardening can help you increase your flexibility, also.

Bending over to pull a few weeds, kneeling to dig a small hole, gently stretching over a plant to prune or deadhead another one.

If you begin to tire or your muscles begin to ache, take a break. Grab a glass of water. Do a few stretches while you rest.

The saying, "No pain, no gain" has no place in the garden. If you have pain, stop what you are doing. Usually stiffness and pain are a sign of inadequate warm-up or even overuse of your muscles.

Be sure you are bending and lifting properly. If you are and if the pain or stiffness persists, be sure to see a medical professional.

What better place to get daily, healthy exercise than in the beautiful surroundings of your own garden!

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