Fitness in Focus: Gardening Helps Improve Your Fitness in More Ways than One

  • Spring has sprung and nature is calling you. It’s time to start working in the yard, gardening and landscaping again. Baseball may be “America’s favorite pastime” but gardening is what most of us do outside to divert us from the workplace grind. All the local nurseries are full of enthusiastic customers that are dizzy with dreams of floral grandeur and greenery splendor. Anything that gets American’s outside physically working instead sitting in front of a screen is to be promoted and applauded. Gardening will not only get you outside, gardening might just be what you need to improve your fitness level in more ways than one.

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    Just look at all the physical work involved with digging holes, raking leaves, pulling weeds, and mowing lawns; a few hours of gardening provides ample aerobic and anaerobic exercise. The entire body gets a good workout including the heart, arms, legs and torso. On the flip side of all this activity is the potential for activity-related pain. But when yard work is done properly at a sustainable pace, then its hard deny that the benefits far outweigh the potential risks.  

     

    Gardening can also benefit your body in other ways too. By growing your own food, you can nourish your body with nutritious plants, fruits and vegetables. Heart-healthy, green-leafy foods provide Omega 3 and Calcium among other micronutrients. Other heart-healthy foods are tomatoes and nuts. Tomatoes provide lycopene and nuts provide Omega 3. Additionally, essential vitamins like C, B and A are all found in a well stocked garden; besides being outside in the natural sunlight will help your body to produce Vitamin D naturally. Overall, homegrown, good food is good medicine.

     

    And gardening is beneficial not only for your physical fitness but also for your mental fitness too. The added physical activity will help you sleep. Being outside helps to relax your mind and unwind. Studies have shown that those that spend more time in contact with nature will experience less depression and anxiety. The natural world helps us to reconnect with our inner spirit and our positive emotions. As Americans, we should all rejoice for having the opportunity to spend a little time in our yards this spring. For the sake of your fitness, start gardening today.

Published On: March 30, 2014