After a brisk jog, you need to get your heart rate back down. The garden provides a nice relaxing intermediate stop, where you can do some stretching exercises and get your breath back while plucking weeds from among the summer flowers
Besides being a powerful form of anti-stress therapy, the garden right now is the ideal place for some daily exercise in the company of the beautiful summer plants. It is high season right now for gardening work, so you have every chance to get into shape while looking after the garden′s pots and beds.
Working out with gardening tools is good exercise
Gardening tasks are regarded as everyday exercise on a par with cycling and walking, and can easily complement and create variation in your daily physical activities. Ove Zachariassen, a physiotherapist at the Dalum Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic in Odense, can see several advantages in turning the weeding of the garden beds into a little "fitness" project:
"Gardening with a rake or hoe, for example, is good exercise. You just have to be careful not to unnecessarily overburden your neck and back."
Ove Zachariassen also recommends that you use your weight-bearing joints and large muscle groups for the tougher jobs - so remember to squat down when you are moving the flower pots and larger plants.
Take a break
When you are working hard in the garden, you should be careful not to stay in the same extreme positions for long periods, as it can be tough on your back and neck to keep them bent or inclined, especially if you hold the same position. So it′s a good idea to include some small breaks in your work, so that you can change position, stretch your body and enjoy a little suitable refreshment on the terrace.
Gardening with common sense
With these few simple ergonomic guidelines in mind and a little common sense, your physical exertions in the garden will be a good experience both before, during and afterwards. And who would not want to go the extra mile, when lots of pretty plants are watching?
The National Board of Health recommends at least 30 minutes' physical activity every day, while the Danish Heart Foundation recommends taking 10,000 steps a day. According to the Count-Your-Steps campaign by Dansk Firmaidrætsforbund (the Danish Work Athletics Society), half an hour′s work in the garden is the equivalent of 3,620 steps.
Caption: Exercise in the company of beautiful garden plants. Here you can see Euphorbia ′Diamond Frost′, Scaevola, Thymus and Lindernia.