With daylight savings time approaching, we are starting to have longer days which reminds me of the spring season. I think of sunny days, flowers, picnics and walks in the park. For me, it’s such a happy place, beside all of the sinus issues related to pollen that I have. Spring is the season where many people decide to clean up; not only the inside of their homes but the outside as well. While visiting my mom over the weekend and seeing her not so clean front yard I thought, it would be an amazing workout to clean this up. This made me think of all of you who I know might have some outdoor cleaning to do. Even if gardening is not your thing, this works because it killing two birds with one stone (as the old saying goes). You are getting an awesome workout in while tidying up your back yard at the same exact time. I can honestly say that cleaning is NOT my forte but if I can consider it my workout for the day, I am all in.
In fact, some studies show that lifestyle activities (i.e. gardening, house cleaning, laundry, organizing the garage) can be just as effective as going to the gym, bootcamp, or a local yoga class. It’s even better because its multi-tasking at it’s finest. Gardening is great for cardio endurance and resistance training. It can be a challenge for the avid fitness enthusiast and even those who are not. It is recommended that all adults complete 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week. That is 2.5 hours. Imagine half of that time spent cleaning your home and making your yard beautiful.
The things you want to keep in mind while Gardening for your workout.
- Avoid Machinery: or try to at least. You want to use the smallest amount of garden machines as possible. Use manual clippers. Turn off the lawn mower and grab a rake. Put the trimmers down.
- Carry when you can: Carrying leaves, seeds, buckets of water, or any of the garden supplies can really sculpt and tone your body. Try to increase the distance that you have to carry something. Instead of going diagonally to the flower bed, make an effort to circle the entire yard once. Also, you can try lifting items over your head for a few seconds before lowering and repeating this movement for a set time. Add a time pressure: Challenge yourself to get the entire yard done in half of the time it usually takes you. For example, if you usually take 1 hour try to get it down in 30 minutes. This might force you to run and move faster, thereby burning more calories. If you usually pay for lawn services, maybe you should set a time that you think might challenge you. Maybe 1 hour (instead of 1 week) will be ideal.
- Use your feet: Once when I was planting flowers, I decided to use my feet to dig holes for the flower pots instead of my hands. I am not sure if this will work for “real” gardeners who have very strategic ways of planting, but it sure was a great leg workout for me. (My plant’s didn’t live very long)
- STAY AWARE OF YOUR FORM: you always want to make sure you are being safe. When lifting heavy objects, bend at your knees not your waist. Turn your entire body instead of twisting your back. Stand shoulder width apart when raking or weeding. Or you can use a weed torch if you are trying to stay safe.
- Always Warm up, Stretch, and Cool down before and after your garden workout session. A good warm up would be a few laps around the house or yard before starting.
- When you are feeling fatigued, take short breaks and hydrate when necessary.
SMILE AND HAVE FUN. This a great way to bloom your flowers and your body.
Let me know what you think TWEET ME @kim_fitness