Gardening is not just good for your mental wellbeing — it can make a significant difference to your health by helping you to lose weight. In fact you can burn between 300-600 calories per hour in your garden. That’s the equivalent of two McDonald’s Big Macs. The different tasks involved in gardening, such as weeding, pruning trees and raking use different muscle groups, helping to tone your body. It just goes to show that you don’t have to go to the gym in order to lose weight and get fit. All you need to do is to step out into a backyard, and if you don’t have one of your own, you can easily rent or borrow some yard space to grow fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Managing obesity from the outset
Childhood obesity is a huge public concern in America, where 19% of children and teenagers are obese. Being overweight when you are young can lead to a wide variety of problems as an adult, due to the extra strain on internal organs, joints and bones. Obesity also has a significant impact on your cardiovascular health, causing heart disease and increasing the risk of stroke. This is why it is essential to get children to take part in healthy and fun exercise like gardening right from the outset. One study found that a group of children who took part in a regular community gardening project weighed less than their peers. Just a little bit each week made all the difference.
Working different muscle groups
Even gentle gardening can help you to lose weight. Small tasks like watering pots and flower beds, planting seedlings and doing a little weeding is a great way to start off. In late winter and early spring, these sorts of tasks are essential if you want to have a thriving, beautiful yard by the summer. Many of the bigger jobs, such as clearing land, digging and tiling, chopping wood, laying sod, gardening with power tools and using a heavy mower, can burn off a large amount of calories. You will be building up muscle strength in your arms and legs, helping to tone your body. Before you start the heavy-duty gardening jobs, make sure that you do some stretching, just the same as you would do if you were taking part in a session at the gym.
Eating healthy produce
Another way that gardening can help you to lose weight is by introducing fresh and tasty produce into your diet. There is nothing more satisfying than eating the fruit, vegetables and herbs that you have grown yourself. You will soon be putting down the potato chips and instead enjoying carrots, cucumber and tomatoes with your own homemade salsa. No longer will you want to eat sugar-heavy breakfast cereal, when you can have natural yoghurt with the delicious, fresh strawberries that you grew in the yard.
Gardening can really help you connect with the food that you eat every day. It is also great exercise, helping you to lose weight and keep fit and healthy.