Archive for June 6, 2008

Burn calories in the garden

June 6th is National Garden Fitness Day, so get off the treadmill and into the garden!


The following fitness tips are from Bunny Guiness, co-author of “Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness.”

She suggests turning your garden into a gym because once you start gardening, you get carried away and barely notice how hard you are workingJ




·         One hour in the garden doing things like shoveling, mowing, and pruning, is roughly equivalent to jogging four miles. Achieve better strength, balance, and flexibility in preparation for gardening’s rigors by stretching before you begin.


·         Three hours of gardening and one hour in the gym burn about the same number of calories: 600 – 700. Because gardening has prolonged energy expenditure, as opposed to shorter bursts of intense aerobic activity, you burn more fats than carbohydrates, which is better for weight loss.


·         Try a back-and-forth rotation of your body while doing chores like planting, raking, and hauling dirt. It allows using opposite sides of your body and feels strange to start with, but you will find with practice it helps to keep your body balanced.  


·         Make exercise a part of each day all year around to develop core muscle strength. Become conscious of engaging your core muscles when gardening, so in time, it becomes automatic as your muscle memory becomes trained.


·         Enjoy Pilates, floor ball exercises, yoga, or whatever suits you. Begin with a series of stretches. These low-impact workouts help to balance and strengthen your body so you can garden better and longer, and avoid painful injuries.


·         Create a special space in your garden for stretching, yoga, and favorite exercise routines. Gardeners often live longer, probably because they become motivated by their gardens and gardening, regularly putting their bodies through a great range of diverse movements. Providing it’s done correctly, both you and your plants will thrive.


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