Life is busy, and time is short, so finding ways to keep fit while doing your weekly chores has to be a win: win. Getting out into your garden not only gets you out into nature and more connected with the environment, it’s also a great way to keep fit. Gardening can help you to burn some of those calories. Mowing burns 175 calories every 30 minutes, digging comes in at 300 calories every 30 minutes and weeding burns 80 calories per hour.
But what if you want to do more in your garden than toiling to keep it need and presentable. How can you use your land to help you keep fit? Here are some exercises you can do without exiting the garden gate.
Plan your goals
How you exercise in your garden will depend on what you want to achieve. Do you want to be more flexible? Do you want to lose weight and improve cardiorespiratory endurance? A yoga mat on the lawn and some stretches could do the trick. Then, getting out of breath doing some manual labour could be just the workout you are looking for. Maybe there is a reason to get that new patio after all.
Get some friends over
Your garden is a great place for play as well as a barbeque. You can use the lawn for burpees or squats – and if you have enough room – some walking lunges. Inviting friends for a game of tennis in the garden makes exercising so much more fun and manageable than getting a routine together at the gym.
Consider big projects
If you are looking to get stronger and fitter, you might want to commit to a big build project in your garden. You could build that shed you have always wanted; a wooden pergola could go down a treat or maybe even knocking down that garage to make room for a veg garden. If you build yourself a summer house, you could find yourself growing all sorts of exotic plants all year round.
If you have nothing to build, you can use your garden for your strength session. Getting some weights out into the garden is a great way to use this outdoor space.
Mix it up
While doing the gardening is great exercise, as is playing a game of footie with your mates. However, the trick to maintaining your love of your garden and exercise is to do a bit of everything. So, make yourself a peaceful area for your Pilates or Tai Chi, have a lawn for your run-around with the kids and set up those raised veg beds for a bit of digging, weeding, and harvesting nutritious food.
Make a better plan for winter
Getting out in the garden when the weather is bad, and the days are short is a problem. You will likely lose your enthusiasm for your workouts at this time of year and will head inside for your slippers and a cuppa in front of the telly. In short, if you want to keep off those Christmas pounds and maintain your fitness regime, then you need alternative plans.
One such plan could be to create yourself an indoor garden. Setting up a small room filled with plants could be the elixir you need for your mental health and keep you active through the dark, cold days of winter. Alternatively, you can pray for snow and get out building a snow family.
Record how you are getting on
You need to record your progress so you can maintain your motivation. We all secretly miss the star chart from school or the badges from scouts. How you keep a check on your progress needs to link to your goals. Obviously, if you are looking to lose weight, weighing yourself regularly is the best measure of your progress. If you hope to improve your flexibility, then noting down what you could do that day helps you compare as you go along.
Keeping a record of your progress has two benefits. One, you can reward yourself when you reach your goals – and genuinely feel happy with yourself. Two, you can spot that what you are doing isn’t working and change your approach.
Exercise by accident
Really though, there is no need to plan your garden fitness. If you choose to maintain your garden, you will be getting fit. The mowing, digging, weeding, painting, trimming, dead-heading, composting, and so much more, keeps you active throughout the year. The bonus of getting up and gardening is that you benefit from your efforts in the shape of a stunning garden and homegrown produce.