How Gardening and Exercising Are One in the Same

While it may seem hard to believe, gardening is a form of exercise. According to the CDC, light gardening and yard work, like raking and weeding, can burn over 150 calories.

From stretching and bending to lifting and pulling, just like exercising, gardening involves a range of physical movements. Here are a few ways that gardening can be beneficial to your mind and body.

1. Helps Improve Your Diet

Having a garden filled with fruits and vegetables right at your fingertips allows easy access to fresh produce and opens the window for a more diverse and healthy diet. It’s also the better choice when it comes to being cost-efficient. Keep it simple by planting items that are easy to grow such as strawberries, raspberries, lettuce carrots, or any other produce that you would want to eat.

Homegrown produce also tends to be a healthier option since it’s grown without fertilizers and you’re able to control what pesticides come in contact with your food. Home grown produce is also rich in nutrients and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

2. Improves Your Mental Health

Gardens can work wonders not only for your body but for your mind when you are stressed and under pressure. Being in nature and green spaces can positively affect your mental health since being active outside allows you to relax and destress.

Each gardening task that you do gives you a moment to slow down, be mindful, and allows you to focus on being present. As we’re in a world that revolves around social media, it can be nice to get a break and spend time outside. Gardening creates that perfect outlet from your screen and places you back in reality.

3. Supports a Healthy Immune System

All that digging, planting, and weeding can also help you sustain a healthy immune system. In fact, research shows beneficial bacteria that live in soil can help support our immunity. In addition to healthy soil, growing plants like coneflowers, elderberries, aloe vera, and garlic can also help boost your immune system. In addition, with the sun being our main source of vitamin D, being out in your garden can help you get your daily dose of this crucial nutrient.

4. Promotes Better Brain Health

Gardening has been shown to keep your brain sharp and studies have shown that gardening stimulates your brain and decreases the chance of dementia. Your concentration and attention span may start to improve because you’re able to put your focus on the task at hand.

5. Join a Community Garden

If you don’t have the space for a garden in your own home, you can still reap the benefits by going to a community garden. Not only will you have the chance of connecting with nature through gardening, but you get to engage with other local gardeners.

Helpful Gardening Tips

Looking to grow a healthy garden and lifestyle, here are a few helpful gardening tips to get you started.

  • Use manual tools as they require less strength and produce a better workout. Gardening activities such as digging, raking, and weeding and great ways to improve your physical fitness.
  • When in the garden you want to be sure you are paying attention to your form just as you would at the gym. This will prevent any pain or injuries from occurring.
  • Practice safety with gardening by wearing gloves, using sunscreen, wearing protective workout clothes, and cleaning your tools regularly.
  • To avoid getting exhausted by doing the same garden activity, try alternating between light and energetic activities.
  • Just like having a workout routine for your day at the gym, try creating a gardening routine. For example, start with a light stretch and gentle movement before going into the more vigorous activities then end with some light movement like watering for your cool down.
  • Once you are finished gardening be sure to stretch and wash your hands to keep yourself safe from illness or injury.

For more benefits of gardening for your mind and body, as well as tips for digging your way to better health, check out the infographic below. 

How Gardening and Exercising Are One in the Same