Can gardening count as exercise?

The days are getting longer and the weather warmer – Spring is here and it’s time to get out in the garden. Gardening and yard work contribute to healthy living, with up to 300 calories able to be burnt per hour of gardening making it great exercise. There are a lot of health benefits getting out in the fresh air in your garden and we have listed a few below.

Medical benefits


Regular gardening or physical yard work is known to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and can also reduce the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. All major muscle groups can be worked in the garden, from digging holes and planting them in to carrying pots.

Eating organic produce from your garden is not only rewarding but extremely good for you.  Also, what you are eating is much fresher than commercially grown vegetables and fruits and have not been in cold storage.

Physical garden fitness

Practicing garden fitness is a good way to help keep trim easily without following a particular exercise regimen. If done on a regular basis, your hobby can help you loose weight without you even being aware of it. Whilst gardening legs, buttocks, shoulders, abs, arms, neck and back all get a workout. There are options that burn more calories than others in the yard as seen below.

  • Mowing the lawn with a push mower rather than a ride-on will burn more energy.
  • Other work like raking, pruning, tilling, digging and weeding can improve cardio fitness.
  • Research shows that 30 minutes of moderate exercise such as gardening per day has significant health benefits.

Ensure you do not over-do it in the garden, as with all exercise over-gardening can cause injury. Pay attention to the signs your body is giving you, try to prevent neck and back strain by being careful lifting things and bending over. And don’t forget to stretch!

Mental wellbeing improvement

We all know we feel better when we have been outside in fresh air connecting with nature.  Being in the garden can dissolve  distractions and stresses of life, relaxes your mind and leaves you with a sense of accomplishment when you have finished. Gardens are full of sights, sounds, textures and scents which can stimulate your mind and memory.  The perfect recipe for mindfulness.

Dynamic Gardening

For those who want to maximise the exercise benefits from gardening, have a look at ‘Fitness the Dynamic Gardening Way’ by Jeff Restuccio is the way to go. The author recommends exaggerating movements to achieve maximum range of motion and changing stances to use different muscles.

Most importantly have run, keep moving and stay safe


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