A Garden Workout
Looking to lose a few pounds? Why not skip getting a gym membership and work out in your garden or yard instead? A lot of folks don’t realize that gardening is actually a great way to exercise. With a combination of actions such as lifting, pulling, and stretching, doing your yardwork can be just as intense as a session in the gym.
Always use a push mower, and put some muscle into pushing the mower forward as far as you can and back again, moving slowly to give yourself a good stretch. For your lunges, stand upright holding onto the mower and lunge forward, never letting your knee pass beyond your toe. At the bottom of the lunge, push off with the back foot up to the standing position. Do three sets of ten for each leg.
Take out the old leaves and plants to the rubbish bin holding large refuse sacks in each hand, lifting them directly above your head. Hold for 10 seconds, then slowly lower, repeating 15 times. As you get stronger, you can add more weight or simply do more reps.
Put on your favorite music and start with some step-ups using a chunky bench, stepped decking or a solid garden step for three to five minutes.
Take a 2-3kg bucket of sand or paint in each hand and do 20 shoulder shrugs. The key is to stand up straight and try to bring your shoulders to your ears. Do not roll your shoulders and concentrate on maintaining good posture. Holding the shrug at the top for one second helps the muscle become stronger.
Scrub by your deck or other garden furniture by hand – the harder you work, and more exaggerated your body movements, the better. Use your body to pull the brush from side to side 15 times keeping your arm extended, and continue with your opposite arm.
Digging with a spade is draining work, and you can work up a healthy sweat turning your compost pile. Use the weight of the spade behind your back to perform some tricep extensions.
Get out your rake and use some elbow grease to clean up your lawn. When you find your upper body starts getting tired, change your grip so that your muscles are targeted in a different way. Keep in mind, the harder and faster you rake, the better the workout.
Slowly squat down when planting the packs of new bedding plants off the ground, keeping your back straight and your heels on the floor. Do not let your upper back round forward. Include one squat for every plant you put into a pot or border. Try and do 15 squats in a row.
By walking at a brisk pace, then slowing down gradually, you’re giving yourself a good cool-down. The resistance of the barrow bumps up the intensity. Then stand and stretch all your major muscle groups – holding each stretch for 10 seconds.