What type of physical activity is gardening? For many of us, gardening is more than an enjoyable pastime. It is an opportunity to stay healthy and get fit without the need to leave the comfort of our homes. Gardening is a joy, and it might surprise you what a fantastic workout you can get.

Is gardening just a hobby, or is it exercise?

Garding offers a way to ditch the gym or invest in exercise equipment. Your workout equipment can be found in gardening tools such as mowers, rakes, wheelbarrows, watering cans, clippers, and hoes. Routine gardening activities such as digging, mowing, weeding, trimming, and raking can improve your fitness. In fact, gardening is a good exercise if you do it right.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), gardening is exercise.

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1 Is gardening just a hobby, or is it exercise?

Can gardening count as exercise?

gardening exerciseGardening is one of the most versatile forms of exercise. It is a fun and productive outdoor activity that individuals across different ages and fitness levels can enjoy. Gardening is a simple way to improve your fitness and the environment around you.

Gardening offers all three types of exercise: strength, endurance, and flexibility.

All that pulling, digging, and planting does a lot more than takes care of your yard. Gardening will also increase your strength. Pushing the lawnmower around the yard, you’ll be breathing hard and sweating profusely. Talk about a great workout. No doubt, gardening is a great way to keep your finger, hands, arms, and back muscles as strong as possible.

As you load up that wheelbarrow, you are not only strengthening your arms, shoulders, and back, but you are building up endurance. Hoeing is the rocky ground is as hard as it looks, and it is a great way to build up your endurance.

Spend a few minutes stretching before you start working in your garden. Before you start bending, crouching, and pulling weeds, take a few minutes to bring blood flow to your body through stretching exercises.

Is gardening an aerobic or cardio exercise?

If you pursue it regularly, gardening can be an aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is sometimes known as “cardio” exercise. Studies recommend aerobic exercise to strengthen your heart health. Gardening can also control risk factors linked with heart diseases like high blood pressure, unhealthy weights, and bad cholesterol.

You can get moderate aerobic exercise from any of the following gardening activities:

  • Pruning
  • Hoeing
  • Planting
  • Cultivating
  • Mowing
  • Raking
  • Walking
  • Weeding
  • Digging
  • Properly bending or kneeling

Some gardening activities are more aerobic than others. For example, planting bushes or trees is aerobic because of the holes you have dig in the process.

What makes gardening good exercise?

Gardening is a purposeful exercise unlike most other forms of exercise such as visiting the gym, going for a run, or attending a yoga class. It is cross-training in which both you and your yard get fitter.

Gardening is a healthy way to lose inches from your waistline with a purpose.

You might more easily convince yourself that you need to dig holes for plants or to mow the lawn than to drive down to the gym for a workout.

exercise in garden

How to get the best workout gardening?

The key to getting the best workout out of working in the yard is to treat it like any workout. Start with a short stretching exercise to prevent injuries. Try to alternate light activities with heavier ones. You might prune for a little while, then dig a hole, then rake. Cool down for 10 minutes, perhaps by watering flowers or picking vegetables, and you are done with your exercise.

Gardening, like any other exercise, requires a routine, flexibility, and endurance, and it’s important to build up progressively.

Get out in your garden regularly, at least three times every week. Continue with your gardening exercises even after all blooms have faded. Raking leaves, splitting firewood, shoveling snow are excellent calorie burners.

How to turn gardening into a workout?

You can quickly burn the same number of calories gardening than working out at the gym. The American Heart Association considers weeding and planting moderate exercise. You can make an effort mowing, digging, and raking energetically.

Work at a constant pace. Avoid power equipment. Use manual clippers and trimmers.

Don’t abandon all other exercises in favor of gardening. Gardening is a great way to work out, but variety is also important. Different types of activities work different parts of your body in different ways. Variety is critical for a well-rounded exercise routine.

How to intensify your gardening workout?

Even light gardening is good exercise. If you want to burn more calories, you can intensify your workout in the following ways:

  • Put some extra yards in your wheelbarrow. Take an extra loop around the garden as you haul mulch or soil.
  • Use a heavy hose to put those muscles to work as you are watering your plants.
  • Change your movement and direction as you are raking up leaves. The change in movement will make full use of your muscles. To target your shoulders, keep the rake in front of your body. Work both arms evenly by raking both left to right and right to left.
  • Elevate your heart rate using a push lawn mover. Using manual gardening equipment adds intensity so that you are increasing your heart rate and burning more calories.

Why is gardening so tiring?

Gardening is a full-body exercise. Lifting 40-pound bags of mulch can be exhausting. Gardening works all of your major muscle groups, including arms, legs, abdomen, buttocks, shoulders, and neck. You might ask yourself: Why does gardening exhaust me? We often do our gardening in high temperatures, which can lead to exhaustion.

If you are looking for a wholesome, physical activity that gets you dirty tired, choose gardening.

Can you lose weight by gardening?

I am not going to promise that you can lose 20 pounds in 30-days by using gardening as exercise. Obviously, diet is a major factor in controlling your body weight. But it is true that gardening is not only a great exercise, but it is also a healthy way to lose weight.

With gardening, you can lose weight in two ways.

First, you will lose weight because of the exercise you get from gardening activities. You can also lose weight indirectly if you grow your own fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet. As with any exercise, check with your doctor before starting.

Gardening is a great way to lose weight – eat less and exercise more!

How many calories burn gardening?

Working in your yard for just 30-minutes, you could burn up to 240 calories. You could burn up to 360 calories per hour, planting small plants in the yard. Do you want to burn even more calories? You’ll burn up to 450 calories per hour digging.

Here is some information on how many calories you can expect to burn gardening:

  • Weeding – up to 410 calories per hour
  • Raking – up to 360 calories per hour
  • Mowing – up to 400 calories per hour
  • Mowing (hand mower) – up to 488 calories per hour
  • Digging – up to 450 calories per hour
  • Laying sod – up to 400 calories per hour
  • Bagging leaves – up to 360 calories per hour

How to prevent gardening injuries?

The health benefits of gardening are impressive. Gardening uses all of the major muscles in your body. As with any exercise, injury is a possibility. Warm-up and stretch before you start our yard workout.

Don’t overexert yourself. Quit when you are tired. Give your body time to recover.

Frequently alternate gardening movements and positions. If you have to work on your knees, use a cushion. Stand up to take a break and stretch frequently. Before you do a lot of bending, stretch your hamstrings and lower back. Don’t lift objects that are too heavy for you. Bend your knees when picking up heavy objects. Ask for help to prevent injuries. Take regular breaks throughout the day. Drink plenty of water.

Is digging good exercise?

If you spend time in your yard, a good digging exercise isn’t too far away. There are clear health benefits to digging a new row for planting or double digging to turn over the soil in your yard. The most obvious health benefit of digging is that it is an exercise in the fresh air.

You can burn hundreds of calories per hour digging.

Digging is an incredible full-body workout. Digging utilizes your arms, legs, and core muscles. In all, it takes 462 different muscles to dig a hole.

What makes digging holes a great workout?

Digging is an excellent cardio workout. You can build strong back and arm muscles with a good old fashioned pick and shovel. You could burn 400-600 calories per hour, digging hard soil or heavy clay. Before you start digging, dress for success. Wear sturdy steel toe boots or closed-toe footwear, long pants, and gloves.

Is digging bad for your back?

Digging is hard work. Injury, as with any exercise, is a possibility. It is important to warm up your muscles before you start. It is the best way to protect not only your back but your entire body. To warm-up your body, walk around for a couple of minutes. Stretch your body. Take your muscles through a full range of motion. As you start digging, remember to use both sides of your body. It may feel awkward at first, but it will become easier with practice. Practicing muscle balance is a great way to protect your back while digging.

What gardening can do for your health?

Many American adults live with Vitamin D deficiency. Gardening gives you Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. That’s important because Vitamin D is important for building strong muscles and enhancing your immune system.

Vitamin D also protects people against high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and other diseases.

Of course, you should protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. According to a recent study, gardening could lower the risk of dementia by 36 percent.

Ask anyone who tended to plants and worked in a garden, and they’ll tell you that gardening is a workout. It is more than a workout. Gardening is a functional exercise and a great way to nurture your body. Gardening keeps you connected to the earth and other living beings around you.

Working in your yard is the most relaxing form of exercise.

To work out in nature and to focus on relaxing tasks such as pulling weeds, raking, or planting encourages us to get out of our heads and be a healthier version of ourselves. Gardening is not only a fantastic exercise, but it releases happy hormones and stimulates our brains.