Are you ready to combine gardening and getting fit? Make sure you are wearing suitable clothing, put on some music and remember to keep hydrated!
It is very important to stretch and warm up your muscles before you embark on any exercise program to reduce muscle strain, fatigue, and the risk of injury. It is also very beneficial when gardening as it will stop your joints from aching when you are bent over a flowerbed!
March on the spot until you feel warm. Take a few minutes to do warm-up stretches before embarking on your gardening. Perform each stretch two or three times and repeat the series at the end of your gardening activity.
If your garden allows it, try short sprints. Alternatively, you can try jump rope, jumping jacks or running on the spot for 5 minutes.
When it comes to burning calories, as a rough guide, you can blast off that fat by doing any of the following activities for around 30 minutes:
Digging and shovelling: 250 calories
Lawn mowing: 195 calories
Weeding: 105 calories
Raking: 100 calories
Light gardening burns as many calories as dancing or golf and turning compost or 10 minutes of vigorous digging can be as strenuous as a session with weights.
Anything that involves working with your arms above your head such as pruning or clipping works your heart strongly but it can also strain the neck so take a rest and stretch after five minutes.
Using a hoe and trimming the edges of a lawn are great alternatives to a gym class.
Hedge trimming tones your biceps while raking, forking and mowing will all help to strengthen the arms and shoulders as well as toning the abdominal muscles.
Digging and squatting down to move or lift objects can help tone thighs and buttocks.
There are a lot of body weight exercises that you can do to tone, in between your weeding and trimming: Squats and lunges for the legs, press ups for the arms, shoulders and back, planks and crunches for abdominal strength. If you would like to lift weights, look for suitable objects to use, cans of beans from your kitchen or bottles of water. Aim for three sets of ten for each exercise.
If it’s a nice day, the garden is the perfect place to practice Yoga or Pilates. Both are great workouts on their own, and incorporated into your gardening workout will really help to stretch and tone your muscles.
If you have would like to spend a little more on your garden gym, why not invest in a mini trampoline and have a ten minute bounce for a cardio boost or an outdoor climbing frame for chin ups and pull ups?
Follow these guidelines and you’ll be toned in time for the summer – perfect timing to show off your trim figure and your beautiful garden to boot.
Do you work out in your garden? What are the exercises do you use? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
Katy Lever is an aspiring writer from Manchester. She loves to exercise and finding new ways to incorporate fitness into day-to-day activities. She writes for Dunster House.