This Spring, you can get more out of your garden than just the ingredients for a delicious spinach salad: Gardening is an amazing workout that allows you to enjoy the beautiful weather you waited for all winter.


Gardening involves a number of different types of exercise, including stretching, weightlifting, and a moderate cardiovascular workout. By deliberately structuring your routine the way you would in the gym, you can alternate light activities with heavier ones to complete a full-body workout that you’ll definitely feel the next day. Bonus: your yard will look just as fantastic as your svelte self!


Working in the garden can be compared to several “standard” exercise activities. Raking, digging, and planting seeds contribute to both personal endurance and strength training, and equate to similar time and energy spent leisurely bicycling or golfing. Shoveling, mowing the lawn, and carrying heavy bags of soil help build muscle and are just as effective as an aerobics class or quick game of baseball. Weeding and cultivating require many of the same stretches and contortions practiced in yoga class, and can likewise influence your overall flexibility.


Using a variety of motions at a steady pace, perform any sequence the following moves: weeding, pruning, raking, mowing, and digging. Change your activity every 15 minutes, focusing on increasing your range of motion and exaggerating your movements to reap all the benefits of each activity. Doing so can burn up to 500 calories an hour!


With warm weather fast approaching, your long list of activities gets even longer, and “Go to the gym” gets pushed further down the ranks. Why not forget the elliptical entirely and find a workout you can do—literally—in your own back yard? The journey toward a summer six-pack isn’t a bed of roses, but it could start in one!


Photo Credit: Shutterstock 

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