Expert gardeners will tell you how therapeutic gardening is. Fantastic for mind, body and soul, Garden Exercise Day on June 6th serves to remind us of the many benefits of spending an hour or two in the garden. Whether it’s varnishing your teak garden furniture, jet washing your outdoor seating or planting shrubs, the mix of vitamin D and endorphins can be hard to resist.
Whether your garden is a jungle of weeds or a vista of manicured borders and well-chosen plants, Garden Exercise Day is ideal for upping you and your family’s activity levels.
NB Whilst we want to encourage as many people to pursue an active lifestyle, you need to be careful. If you haven’t exercised for some time, check with your GP whether turning the compost is the right form of exercise for you. And don’t forget the make sure you wear sunscreen and stay hydrated too. Most of all, start small and build up your daily gardening regime over time.
Get Fit Whilst Gardening
Getting fit in the garden you will be pleased to know is mainly free – apart from investing in tools etc. – and requires no special equipment or clothing, other than a floppy hat for shade and a decent pair of shoes if digging – oh, and an outdoor bench to sit down on afterwards of course!
No matter how big or small your garden, there are plenty of ways to get exercising…
Mow the lawn – rather than taking your time, get a hoof on the next time you get the lawn mower out. The best exercise is when it leaves you slightly breathless and on the verge of a sweat. And no stopping half way through!
Mowing the lawn with a push mower expends 243 calories. Great for keeping your weight in check and save on electricity or petrol too.
Digging and tilling – if you’ve always wanted to get rid of a shrub, plant new ones or get to grips with a border, now is the time to do it. Sharpen the spade and get digging, using a fork to turn over the soil. Use a hoe to cut weeds off at their base and sit back on a deck chair to admire your handy work.
Heavy digging and tilling can expend more than 200 calories and, is great for strengthening back muscles and toning the arms.
Bagging leaves – in late summer, some shrubs and trees will start to drop their leaves in readiness for winter. Deciduous plants and trees shed their leaves to conserve energy so they make it through winter unscathed. Leaf mulch – rotted leaves – makes a great fertiliser the following spring so when the leaves drop, get raking, bagging the leaves in bin bags to hasten decay.
Burning 162 calories, bagging leaves is a fantastic way to tidy the garden. Sit back and enjoy a small gin with slimline tonic, with only 64 calories in the evening sun, cooled to perfection in the garden bar.
Chopping wood – wood for the winter months for the log burner or for the fire pit in the garden is a great way of building up a sweat and shedding calories. However, chopping wood can be tough on the back and the arms.
Shedding around 250 calories, several sessions of wood chopping will soon add up.
General gardening – from tidying and storing equipment away to ‘pottering’ about, plant seeds and nurturing tender seedlings, there are many smaller gardening jobs that help to shift the calories.
Spending an hour doing general gardening jobs can see us expend more than 200 calories.
But enjoy your garden too!
The whole point of outdoor space is to extend the interior of your home to the outside, whether you choose an outdoor table and outdoor chairs or a hammock for relaxation. When the sun shines and the temperature is warmer, as well as completing essential gardening jobs, don’t forget to relax amidst nature on comfortable garden chairs or rattan outdoor furniture with a drink of choice and the latest novel on hand.