Are you looking for a fun and effective way to stay active and get your yard in shape at the same time? Gardening might be the perfect solution! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 30 to 45 minutes of gardening can burn up to 150 calories. So, not only will your garden thrive, but your body will too!
Treat Gardening as Your Workout
Before you jump into gardening, treat it like a workout. Start with a warm-up, take a walk around your yard, and do some gentle stretches. Begin with smaller tasks like pruning, weeding, and planting before moving on to more intense activities like digging and mowing. Take short breaks to drink water and give your body a well-deserved rest.
Use Your Legs and Core
Embrace proper form while gardening to avoid soreness and make the most of your workout. Instead of relying solely on your arms for power, engage your legs and core. These muscle groups can provide more strength and endurance. When using tools like a rake or shovel, get into a crouching or squatting position, keeping your back straight, and use the power of your legs and core to move the tool. To avoid strain while weeding, try lunging or kneeling on one knee. When sitting down, bend at the waist to prevent hunching over.
Change It Up
Vary your gardening stance and position every few minutes to prevent repetitive stress on specific muscles or joints. Alternate the knee you kneel on, the leg you lunge with, and even the arm or hand you use. This distributes the work across different parts of your body, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.
Arm Yourself with the Right Tools
Choose gardening tools with long handles to reduce strain on your body. Long-handled tools allow you to utilize your legs and core to pull the tool across your body. Transform handheld tools into longer ones using PVC pipes for added leverage and reach.
Stay Safe Under the Sun
While you enjoy gardening, remember to protect yourself from the elements. Stay hydrated by sipping water during breaks to prevent heat stroke and dehydration. Wear sunscreen and insect repellent to shield your skin from harmful UV rays and pesky bugs. Opt for long sleeves, pants, gloves, and a wide-brimmed hat for added protection.
Gardening is more than just a hobby; it’s a fantastic way to nurture your body and mind. So, let’s get out there and cultivate both a beautiful garden and a healthier you!