Gardening to exercise

March 21, 2013


Gardening to exercise

Spring is on the horizon and people are getting out their gardening gear. Though often viewed as a leisure activity, gardening is nonetheless a physical endeavor. To insure injury prevention and prevent any orthopaedic strain, there are certain steps that can be taken. 

According to the American Council on Exercise, a person can burn 300 calories per hour working in his or her garden. Especially after the sedentary lifestyle that often takes hold in the winter months, this sort of intense physical activity needs to be handled carefully.

"Remind yourself that the tasks of gardening require the use of muscles that may not have been active for awhile," the ACE reports. "But if you start off slowly, you can avoid the back strains and soreness that come from repeating the same motion for hours at a time."

BBC reported that in 2004, 87,000 people in the UK alone were injured through gardening. Though many of these injuries were falls, cuts and lawnmower mishaps, a handful of them came from the mere strain of working in the garden. 

There are a number of steps to take to get back gardening safely, according to the ACE. By starting out gardening for half an hour three or more times a week, a person can ease his or herself into the activity. 

After getting into the physical groove of this, an individual can really use gardening as a means of toning the body and building strength. This can be done in a number of ways, whether hand-turning a compost pile, hoeing, raking, digging or even using a push lawnmower. These maneuvers work everything from the upper body to the thighs.  

The warm months are the time to indulge in outdoor activities. By taking the correct measures, a person can avoid any potential orthopaedic injury and truly benefit from gardening. 

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