What do gardening and walking have in common? Both are great ways to exercise. Digging, weeding and other gardening activities use all of the major muscle groups and burn plenty of calories, too.
What are the Health Benefits of Gardening?
Gardening can help you:
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Build stronger bones, muscles and joints
- Improve your heart and overall health
- Reduce stress
- Enhance your mood
- Jump-start your immune system
- Boost your brainpower
How Long Does It Take to Get Gardening Health Benefits?
Spend 75 to 150 minutes working in your garden each week. Performing 75 minutes of heavy gardening (activities that make you breathe hard and fast) or 150 minutes of moderate intensity gardening (activities that make you sweat and raise your heart rate) meets the weekly aerobic physical activity recommendations for adults. Gardening at least twice a week also meets the recommendation for muscle strengthening activity.
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Avoiding Gardening Injuries
Whenever you exercise, including gardening, make sure you stretch first, vary your activities and listen to your body. If you feel you are pushing too hard, stop for a day. If you are new to exercising, build the amount of time you spend gardening slowly. Protect your back by rolling, pushing or pulling heavy loads instead of lifting them.
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