Most of the athletes consider off-season to be a great time for them to stretch, heal, rest, and enjoy some time away from their favorite sport. Many renowned athletes often look for some kind of activity while spending quality time at home. Out of all these activities, home gardening is one of the best alternatives because it allows an individual to stay fit while having loads of fun. Home gardening is also great from the perspective of health consciousness as it provides us access to fresh, homegrown vegetables, and fruits.
Gardening as an Exercise:
Even during the off-season, the workout is a must for any athlete. The University of Virginia mentions that gardening can be as effective as other forms of exercise such as cycling or exercising. However, the effectiveness of gardening as an exercise depends on the task undertaken and its duration. To enjoy the benefits of gardening as an exercise form, one must be active for at least 30 minutes.
Gardening is effective as a workout because it works all the major muscle groups in the human body including the abdomen, back, neck, shoulders, arms, buttocks, and legs. It is possible to build strength and lose calories by selecting gardening tasks that utilize these muscles.
In addition to the exertion, there are many other benefits of gardening as an exercise. Activities such as reaching out for tall branches or weeds, bending to extend a rake involve a great deal of stretching. Shoveling, pushing wheelbarrows, and lifting bags of mulch are comparable to resistance training activities such as weight lifting. However, unlike aerobics or jogging, gardening puts the body through minimal stress and jarring.
Gardening and Weight Loss:
Burning more calories than consumed is essential for losing weight. Therefore, the extent of weight loss while gardening depends entirely upon the task performed and the size of the individual.
Iowa State University provides some examples of the calorie-burning potential of some common gardening tasks.
- Weeding: 157 calories of men and 156 calories for women
- Digging holes: 197 calories of men and 150 calories for women
- Planting: 177 calories of men and 135 calories for women
According to the National Institute of Health, along with walking two miles and biking five miles in 30 minutes, gardening for 30 to 45 minutes is a recommended activity for overcoming obesity.
Some other Health Benefits:
Recent studies indicate that gardening for 30 minutes a day offers many more health benefits such as
- Strengthens joints
- Increases flexibility
- Decreases cholesterol levels and blood pressure
- Lowers the risk of diabetes
- Slows osteoporosis
Making Most Out of Gardening Sessions:
If you are an athlete looking to gain maximum health benefits by gardening during the off-season, there are a few points that you must take into account. First of all, to receive any noticeable results, at least 30 minutes of exercise is required for several days a week. However, some contemporary researchers suggest that these 30 minutes can be split into shorter active periods in different parts of the day. According to these studies, each activity should be moderately intense and lasts for at least eight minutes.
Fresh Food at Home:
One of the greatest benefits of home gardening is instant access to fresh yields with higher nutrient content compared to what you have been purchasing from local grocery stores. To make your home garden stand out, consider planting leafy greens, nutritious fruit-bearing plants, fresh herbs, and nutrient-rich vegetables. If you are looking for medicinally beneficiary plants, you may opt for aloe vera, arnica, peppermint, and rosemary.
Once you have decided to grow your home garden, the next step is to arrange all the necessary products and supplies. Everything you need to get started is available at Agron for the best possible price.