Getting enough exercise when at home is a crucial contributor to achieving positive mental and physical health and wellbeing, and during these unusual times with more people at home than ever, there’s no better time to get active without a gym.
Gardening is the perfect way to achieve exercise at home and is especially fantastic for keeping the mind healthy too, all whilst being outdoors in the fresh spring air. Whether it’s digging and clearing weeds, tidying up borders, cutting the grass, or sewing new seeds in time for Summer season, you can burn calories and benefit your garden at the same time.
Carrying out tasks in the garden such as mowing the lawn, weeding and planting shrubs can burn as much 700 calories every three hours and there are also exercises you can do to target specific parts of the body – squatting while weeding is excellent for the glutes and thighs, whilst doing it on your hands and knees works the abdominals. Arms and shoulders can be toned by pushing a wheelbarrow or pruning.
If you wish to keep fit whilst maintaining a gorgeous green space at home, integrate your gardening exercise with a more traditional work out and make the most of the natural workout gardening can offer: squatting, bending, walking, lifting, digging and raking. Try to avoid short cuts such as ride-on mowers, leaf-blowers and other tools to avoid having to pick things up from the ground.
Ten Ways to Work Out in the Garden:
Mowing: get rid of long, dead and old grass with a quick 20-minute session of mowing the lawn, and burn up to 94 calories in the process.
Digging: revamp your garden by digging and prepping your garden to plant something new and burn over 320 calories an hour in doing so!
Weeding: burn up to 280 calories an hour by squatting for each weed you pull out – remember to engage glutes for each weed!
Pruning: make your movements as wide as possible when pruning by increasing the arc from your starting position to your ending position. Pruning garden shrubs can burn up to 280 calories an hour.
Raking: Put maximum energy into raking and seeding the lawn and burn over 125 calories in a half hour session!
Shoveling: burn over 280 calories when shoveling garden waste into a wheelbarrow or garden waste bin.
Carrying: strengthen and tone your arms and shoulders by pushing a wheelbarrow. Carrying heavy loads in the garden can burn up to 490 calories an hour!
Using Tools: when using tools to remove weeds, trim hedges and dig plants, perform gardening tasks in the same way as you would in the gym to get maximum benefits. For example, incorporate lunges between each movement etc.
Balancing: have fun in the garden between mowing and digging to balance and strengthen and stabilise your body on props around the garden.
Running: make the most your beautiful lawn with running, skipping, and aerobic exercises like star jumps between gardening.
Before starting any garden exercise, warm up by doing some body balancing exercises to target deep muscles that support the spine.
Regularly change jobs; try to limit the time spent on any one activity to 20 minutes.
Ensure you do some post-gardening stretches and keep stretching regularly to prevent any aches and pains.