Gardening For Good Health

Gardening is the number one recreational activity in the United States. One out of every three people spend some of their leisure time in the garden and it's easy to see why. To put it simply, gardening is good for you. Not only does it enrich your mind and spirit, but gardening is great physical exercise. Here are a few pointers to help make the time you spend gardening even healthier.

Ad

Shield Yourself From The Sun

What's good for your plants isn't always good for you. According to the National Cancer Institute, skin cancer is the most common of all cancers in the United States. To protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun, wear sunscreen and sunglasses, and keep your head covered with a cheerful floppy hat.

Use Chemicals Sparingly

Chemicals are bad for our bodies and bad for the environment. If you use them at all in the garden, use them sparingly. Always read and follow label directions carefully. Use good cultural practices to reduce the need for chemical treatments.

Keep Bugs At Bay

Insect bites and stings can be painful and in some cases (e.g. West Nile virus, Lyme Disease, bee sting allergies) they can be down right dangerous. Wear bug repellant to keep bugs at bay.

Protect Against Rashes, Cuts & Scrapes

Gardening can be hard on your skin-especially when working around plants with thorns or prickly stems, or when coming up against the occasional poisonous plant. Protect your hands and feet with thick gloves and close-toed shoes. When working around plants like poison ivy, wear protective clothing (gloves, boots, long sleeve shirts and pants) and if you wear your hair long, pull it back or keep it covered with a scarf or hat. Shower and wash your outdoor clothes as soon as possible and until then, try to avoid touching any exposed skin.

Practice Safety First

Always keep your garden equipment in good working order. Knowing how it works and learning how to use it properly will help prevent serious accidents. Always wear protective eyewear when pruning and trimming and handle and dispose of chemicals according to the manufacturers directions.

Cushion Your Back & Knees

Many gardening chores require you to engage your knees and back for long periods time, which makes them more susceptible to strain related injuries. Use knee pads or a piece of foam to cushion your knees while you perform tasks requiring you to kneel. Be careful not to overload shovels or spades and always bend your knees and hips while lifting.

Ad

Set Aside 30 Minutes Each Day

Gardening is considered a moderate form of exercise, and research has shown that just 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day (the equivalent of walking 3-4 mph) can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, guard against osteoporosis, and help prevent diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. And there's even more good news. Research also suggests that you can break up those 30 minutes into 3 sessions lasting 10 minutes each without losing any of the health benefits.

Prevent Pulled Muscles

Gardening activities work all of the major muscle groups. Warm up and cool down by doing a few simple stretches for 2-3 minutes before and after you perform gardening tasks. Take frequent breaks to stretch when a task requires your body to stay in the same position for long periods of time. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water while doing outdoor activities.

Tips For Maximizing Calories Burned

Individual gardening tasks may not burn a lot of calories, but once you add them up, they really start to count. The key to maximizing the amount of calories you burn while gardening is to vary your activities. Completing tasks manually burns the greatest number of calories, so whenever possible, choose manpower over motor power.

* Average Calories Burned Per 30 Minutes (170 lb person):

Chopping Wood243
Digging, Spading & Tilling202
Double Digging344
Laying Sod202
Mowing (riding)101
Mowing (power)182
Mowing (push)243
Planting trees182
Raking Leaves162
Bagging Leaves162
Snow Removal (snow blower)182
Snow Shoveling (heavy snow)364
Trimming & Pruning (power)142
Trimming & Pruning (manually)182
Walking (fertilizing or seeding)182
Watering61
Weeding182

*(Source: National Gardening Association)

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

Comments

January 31, 20160 found this helpful

I'm vowing to take your suggestion to heart. I dislike doing anything without a reason. I can't "get into" just walking aimlessly or doing repetitive exercises just for health benefits. I'm 70 yr old and in good health, but I know enough to pace myself and takes things easy. I just mentioned this to my son the other day, I believe people in assisted living facilities should be given the option to care for a one or two large potted plants near the doorway of their facility. People need to have a reason to live and to wake up in the morning. One or two of the Seniors might like to put food in the bird feeder and make sure it is clean. All such things add to the value of life. imho Thank you for adding a bright spot to my day. I'm going to step away from this computer now and make plans for spring! lol

Ad
ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!

Related
In This Article
A woman smiling while gardening.
Gardening For Good Health
Categories
Home and Garden Gardening AdviceNovember 9, 2006
Guides
ripening rose hips
Health Benefits of Rose Hips
Saving Money on Health Insurance, Health Insurance Paperwork
Saving Money on Health Insurance
Hydroponic Gardening
Hydroponic Gardening
Small Walled Garden
Gardening in Small Spaces
More
🎄
Christmas Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
You are viewing the desktop version of this page: View Mobile Site
© 1997-2016 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Published by . Page generated on November 23, 2016 at 4:36:56 PM on 10.0.1.100 in 1 seconds. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of ThriftyFun's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. If you have any problems or suggestions feel free to Contact Us.
Loading Something Awesome!