Why not think of gardening as exercise?
So today, I am writing about ways we can consider gardening as exercise.
1. Raking leaves is a great activity for sculpting your arms and back
Have you ever wondered how many calories you burn raking leaves? As it turns out, raking leaves burns about 220 calories per hour. source
This is just as good for your garden as it is for your body. Rake all your leaves into a pile in a corner of your garden or add them to your compost pile. Let them decompose for a few months, and by spring, you’ll have an excellent healthy (and free!) mulch for your garden beds.
2. Shoveling soil builds muscle in your arms and shoulders
Wondering how many calories are burned shoveling? Digging holes with a shovel can burn over 500 calories per hour! source
Shoveling holes for new plantings or burying posts for a fence can be really hard work, but at least you get the pleasure of a prettier garden and knowing you you’ve gotten in a workout that day.
3. Pulling weeds is a whole body workout
You may not realize it, but squatting and bending to pull weeds burns about 230 calories per hour. Plus you’re getting a good workout in your legs and back. Grabbing and pulling can improve your grip and tone your arms.
Even if you’re using long-handled weeding tools, you can still work up a good sweat getting rid of weeds in your garden.
4. Harvesting your produce helps you get in shape
When you have a bumper crop of produce, gathering all your veggies is quite the workout. Between bending over to pick them and carrying a basket loaded with veggies, you’re working lots of muscles in your arms and back.
I can’t think of a more rewarding exercise activity!
5. The combination of garden activities is great for your body
When you’re working in the garden, you’re not just standing in one place repeating the same activity over and over. You’re turning the compost pile, you’re pushing a wheelbarrow, you’re pruning trees and dragging branches.
All of these activities combine together to strengthen and tone your muscles in a way that’s entertaining and keeps your body fit.
You can easily get plenty of exercise by just doing garden work.
There is only one way to be successful at losing weight.
The first being the organic healthy food you need for a well-balanced diet, and the second being a moderate amount of physical activity required for maintaining a successful garden.
Garden work burns a lot of calories
- Digging, spading, filling garden, composting burns 272 calories per hour
- Planting seedlings, shrubs burns 228 calories per hour
- Raking leaves burns 224 calories per hour
- Picking up the yard, light yard work, picking flowers or vegetables burns 136 calories per hour
- Walking on a treadmill at 3.0 mph, a moderate speed, not carrying anything burns 156 calories per hour
- Bicycling, leisure, slower than 10 mph, to work or for pleasure burns 204 calories per hour
- Weight lifting, light or moderate effort, light workout burns 136 calories per hour
Of course, the larger the garden, the more work required. Cultivating the soil, picking weeds, watering, digging holes, and turning compost are all physically demanding and work your muscles.
Expert tips for getting a good workout in the garden:
Squat as you weed, and hold the position until your legs burn. Resist the urge to sit or kneel, and you’ll work your leg muscles beautifully.
Using a variety of motions at a steady pace, perform a variety the following moves: raking, mowing, weeding, pruning, digging. Alternate between them, every 15 minutes or so.
To reap the maximum health benefits from your gardening use as little machinery as possible. Use manual clippers, trimmers and lawnmowers if possible.
Check out these (admittedly goofy) gardening workout videos for more ideas:
Learn more outdoor exercises you can do for free at FrugalEverything.com.
Learn how you can use essential oils to supplement your fitness goals at TheOrganicGoatLady.com.
So can growing tomatoes actually help you lose weight?
I do tend to lose some weight when the weather warms outside and I’m spending more time in the garden and less time inside hiding from the cold and wind.
I’m not going to promise that you can lose 30 pounds in 90 days by using gardening as exercise, but you can get some extra physical activity that you need to keep your body fit. Plus, keeping active and busy is a good way to prevent eating out of boredom!
And the best part is that all of the work you put into your vegetable garden will yield healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables to support your diet and nutrition goals.
Or, you can stand on a vibrating platform, watch your body jiggle, and hope the latest and greatest exercise invention works. 😜
I’d love to hear how you use gardening as exercise!
Share your tips in the comments below!