According to the experts a few hours hard gardening can work wonders for your health and wellbeing – as well as burn calories fast.
When it comes to burning calories digging and shovelling come top of the list with mowing and weeding not far behind.
Gardening burns calories
After half an hour doing any of the following activities you can expect to use up:
- Digging and shovelling: 250 calories
- Lawn mowing: 195 calories
- Weeding: 105 calories
- Raking: 100 calories
Tones the body
Hedge trimming helps shapes your biceps while raking, forking and mowing will all help to strengthen the arms and shoulders as well as toning the abdominal muscles.
Digging and squatting down to move or lift objects can help tone thighs and buttocks.
Any activity that is energetic enough to leave you slightly out of breath and raise the heartbeat counts as moderate intensity exercise, which, according to the experts, can help protect against heart disease.
You can expect some benefit from working in the garden for just half an hour three times a week.
Helps relieve stress and stimulates the senses
It’s not just your body that will benefit. The psychological benefits of being outdoors, working in the sunshine and fresh air, are also clear.
Studies have shown that just looking at trees and plants reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and relieves tension in muscles.
Taking in the colours, smells and sounds can help overall wellbeing.
Horticultural therapists have found that, for elderly patients in particular, gardening can stimulate all the senses – providing interesting sights, sounds, textures, tastes and scents – and stimulate memories and connection with the past.
Watching things grow from seed instils a sense of achievement and self esteem. It gives an opportunity for the gardener to take care of and responsibility for another living thing, while keeping the brain busy.
More about gardens from the Independent: www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/gardens/
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