National Gardening Exercise Day is observed each year on June 6 and encourages us to maximize the benefits we reap from gardening by adding some stretches and a few extra steps or squats.

Gardening on its own is therapeutic, builds muscles and burns calories. Some of the gardening activities that are excellent for working your muscles and for burning calories include weeding, digging, spading, planting, pruning, mowing, raking, and walking.

Many of us do not realize the amount of healthy exercise that we can get while working outside in the garden.  It involves a lot of walking back and forth as well as bending up and down along with other things. Being out in the fresh air and sunshine are also an added benefit. Incorporating stretching into a gardening routine may help to prevent injury, much like it does for any athletic endeavor.  Adding those squats will contribute to building or maintaining muscle, and extra steps may make gardening more aerobic if it increases the heart rate. Gardening and exercise are excellent stress relievers, too!

Other suggestions to get the most exercise out of your gardening:

  • Start slowly.  Just like any new workout program, small steps.
  • Use the right and left hands equally.  When raking or shoveling, switch hands every 5-10 minutes to give each side a good workout.
  • Make sure to breathe.  Deep, cleansing breaths bring oxygen to those working muscles.
  • Lift with your legs! When lifting, bend your knees.  Don’t lift with your back.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Enjoy your garden.  Visit it often!

HOW TO OBSERVE

Pull those weeds, plant some seeds and get your muscles moving! Your garden will look great, and you will feel fantastic, too!

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