Ways to Be Active in the Garden
Gardening offers a much longer list of benefits than you might think. Spend a little time on yours, and not only will you be able to enjoy luscious lawns, pruned hedges, and a productive garden, but your mental and physical health will thrive too.
In fact, research shows that it is easier for enthusiastic gardeners to maintain a healthy weight. That’s not surprising once you consider that an honest gardening session is often compared to a workout at the gym – flipping the compost is like lifting weights, and raking requires movements similar to those used on a rowing machine.
There are five reasons to start gardening.
It’s a full-body workout
Tasks like raking, digging and pushing a lawnmower work a variety of muscle groups functionally. In other words, you build muscles that you simply use in your lifestyle. Take every opportunity to introduce more movement in your landscaping.
It gets your heart rate up
Gardening is usually an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Research published by the American Society for Horticultural Sciences found that most gardening tasks are classified as moderate to high-intensity physical activities. Doing a couple of cardio sessions a week can lower your risk for a variety of diseases and help you reach your health goals.
It’s a chance to ‘go green’ and get vitamin D
Scientists have suggested that doing something physically active outdoors surrounded by greenery, for just a couple of minutes each day, improves mood and self-esteem. Also, spending time outdoors can be an opportunity to increase your vitamin D levels. Just remember to wear sunscreen whenever the UV index is 3 or higher, such as in summer and spring.
You can grow your own food
Plant an herb or vegetable garden and you will always have an honest supply of fresh produce to load your plate and it will be right outside the front entrance. It’s a great thank you for helping your health and your wallet! Don’t forget that most vegetables are ZeroPoint ™ foods and you will use herbs to flavor your food without adding additional SmartPoints to the food.
It’s a healing hobby
Gardening is often a great way to relax, and research shows it relieves stress. A study conducted in the Netherlands found that people who spent half an hour gardening after being exposed to a stressful situation experienced a much greater reduction in levels of cortisol, which can be a stress hormone, than people who chose to read a book.
Tips for getting the most out of your gardening workout
- To prevent burns, make sure you cover yourself from the sun and wear proper footwear and clothes. Also, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
- Warm-up by walking for five minutes or doing some lighter activities before you begin. When you’re done, stretch your muscles.
- Posture and technique are often important. Keep your back straight, your core engaged, and lift along with your | along with your “> along with your legs, not your back. Incorporating a pair of squats will not only help strengthen your glutes but will also protect your back from injury.
- Try to find more opportunities to exercise with each activity you are doing. For example, when you are watering the garden, swap a hose for a watering can. Carrying the can will add resistance, and walking back and forth to fill it will add more steps. Do you want to amplify it? Try to launch yourself instead of walking, thanks to your thanks to and from the tap.
- Alternating tasks between the heaviest and the lightest. For example, once you have finished digging, raking, or plowing, switch to light pruning. That way, you will give yourself some time to recover before moving on to the next physically demanding task.
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