How to keep fit in the garden
Rising temperatures, sunshine, and lots of fresh green: in May it is high time to whip up the garden. Exercise and sport in the fresh air are now really fun again. Why not combine both?
5 tips for a garden workout
Mowing the lawn is the perfect way to start your workout. Above all, it promotes endurance and its intensity can be compared to Nordic walking. “Mowing the lawn and all the activities that go with it are good for the heart.
“Mowing should take at least 20 minutes.” The exercise can be optimized by leaving out the collecting container while mowing and simply raking the grass yourself. It is important: do not cramp your arms and shoulders and keep your back straight.
Off to the bed
Processing flower beds is an all-around exercise par excellence. There’s something here for every part of the body, especially when it comes to raking and digging. “Exercises that only get you slightly out of breath are ideal.” When working in the bed, it is best to get on your knees and avoid a hollow back. The four-legged position is also ideal because it is easy to keep your back straight. You can also support yourself well with one hand and work with the other.
“Trimming hedge is roughly comparable to classic strength training as you know it from the fitness studio. Here, too, it is important not to cramp the body. This can happen quickly in an activity that requires a lot of effort. For example, if you pull your shoulders up, it’s time to put the scissors aside and shake out your arms vigorously. Then you can continue with a corrected, relaxed posture.
“In general, any gardening work that uses muscles is good strength training. This also includes watering flowers or pushing wheelbarrows. This trains your arms, back, and legs. “It is important that you lift heavy objects in the correct posture.” You can prevent injuries by lifting from a crouch instead of your back and ensuring that your back is upright and not bent forward when walking.
Keep your composure
Finally, you can make good use of unpopular gardening tasks: joint scratching and weeding. It is best to get on your knees and support yourself with one arm. A pad for the legs, for example, a small rubber mat, makes this exercise comfortable. Always keep your back straight. With a little stamina and the right posture, you can turn to scratch the joints into a gentle exercise for your arms and back.
How does gardening help my fitness?
Your garden can be your own little gym, yoga studio, or cardio workout – depending on what you do in it. “When you work in the garden, you train various aspects of fitness: strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination.
You improve your endurance and maximum strength
If you shovel heaps of earth from A to B several times, you will get out of breath after a while. After 1 to 2 days of regeneration, however, the next time you can hold out this exertion longer. In addition, you will soon be able to lift more earth at once. Your muscles as well as your bones and joints have become stronger and firmer as a result of this stimulus.
You have more stamina
Even “cardio” activities such as mowing the lawn will become easier for you after a while. Your blood vessels and heart muscles are trained and can cope better with exertion. Great side effect: your blood pressure improves.
You get a full body workout without even realizing it
Digging, lifting, pushing, pouring – gardening appeals to a wide variety of muscles in the body. Because the focus is not on sport at all, but rather on caring for your garden, this is often much easier than with normal training. The result: Your whole body is shaped, your posture improves and your calorie consumption increases even in rest mode.
You become more agile
If you swing a watering can back and forth on the balcony, pick apples above your head, or bend down to pick weeds, you get the most out of your joints. This gives them more nutrients and makes them smoother overall. Because many movements have to be carried out precisely, your coordination also improves.
How Many Calories Does Gardening Consume?
You can work up a sweat while gardening. How much depends, of course, on what kind of garden you have and what tools you use. “The more intense the movement feels and the more muscle groups are targeted, the higher the calorie consumption.
So if you want to lose a few kilos, do without electrical aids and prefer to do the work with a traditional scythe, hedge trimmer, or a hand lawnmower. Here are some typical tasks and how many calories an average woman burns per hour:
- Mowing the lawn (with a hand lawn mower): 400 to 500 kcal
- Mowing the lawn (with an electric mower): 300 to 400 kcal
- Dig or dig: up to 600 kcal
- Rake leaves: 250 to 300 kcal
- Cut the hedge: 200 to 300 kcal
- Plucking / harvesting plants: 150 to 200 kcal