Today, June the 6th is National Gardening Exercise Day. Since the weekend is just around the corner, I thought I'd spend a little time today explaining how you can get some great exercise while you have fun and do your Saturday chores.
Gardening Exercise Day encourages us to maximize the benefits we reap from gardening by adding in a few simple stretches, extra steps, and squats. "Gardening on its own is therapeutic, builds muscles and burns calories. Some of the gardening activities that are excellent for working your muscles and for burning calories include weeding, digging, spading, planting, pruning, mowing, raking, and walking."
Spending time outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air gives us a boost, as well. And gardening can be very a very therapeutic way to relieve stress and unclutter our minds while we unclutter the garden. Here are nine reasons why gardening is the ultimate mind-body workout.
1. It gets you moving. Standing up, bending down, lifting, shoveling, raking, etc...are all good for the body, so long as we start off slowly and don't overdo. And digging in the dirt is actually fun!
2. It sparks creativity. Gardening helps you connect with the earth, your body, mind, and spirit, which allows space for creative thoughts to flow.
3. It reduces stress by helping you relax. After a long week of work, it can be difficult to find the time and a place to unwind. As you step into the garden the peace and calm of nature washes over you and helps reduce stress while the physical exertion of gardening helps lower blood pressure. Immersing yourself in nature is a natural relaxer and helps boost those endorphins, which help you feel better, help you become more grounded, centered and relaxed.
4. It's a great form of functional exercise. If you're like me, you may not really enjoy working out. So if there is a way that I can do that AND get my chores done, well, I'm gonna be all over that. Stretching, pushing, pulling and lifting incorporate multiple muscles at one time and improve the quality of your overall fitness level. Come to think of it, you don't often see a gardener who's out of shape, do you?
5. It improves flexibility, balance, and sensory perception. The movements, the sights and smells are all part of the health benefits while you tend your patch of paradise.
6. It boosts feel-good hormones. Gardening is a form of exercise, and exercise releases endorphins which make us feel good. These endorphins help us manifest a more positive outlook on life and that good feeling stays with us long after the gardening is done.
7. It cultivates a healthier heart. Since gardening is a physical activity, it naturally helps strengthen the heart, build endurance and increase stamina.
8. It builds relationships. Spending time with family and friends is always fun and it improves our quality of life. Gardening is something that the whole family can do together. It's a wonderful weekend activity that gets you outdoors away from computers and TV while it gives everyone a good physical workout.
9. It gives back to the community. If you live in an urban setting and don't have a garden of your own, never fear. Most cities have public gardens that would welcome your time to help keep these city parks looking their best.
And I think there's another benefit, too.
10. Any flowers that you grow lift your spirits and add beauty to your home. And if it's food that you raise, then you know how much fun it is to pick and eat your home-grown veggies. They taste better and are better for you, too! It provides an excellent learning tool for children about where food comes from and how it's grown.
This does it for me today. I hope you have an opportunity today or over the weekend, to spend time tending a garden. Join me back here again tomorrow for a look at best friends, in honor of their special day. Until then, happy gardening and I wish you