Outdoor Yardwork is Great for Your Body and Mind
If you went around your neighborhood and asked anyone about yard work, they would all agree that it is quite a workout. Bending over, squatting and pulling weeds, they all make your body use muscles that you just did not know you had. Also in the summer when most of the gardening and yard work is done, it is usually pretty warm and thus the work you do will cause you to break out in a sweat.
Just think about a few of the motions that you make while in the garden. Say it is pulling weeds, this simple act involves squatting down and leaning down which will work those muscles that are not used to it. It will engage your leg muscles for support, the core of your body will swing into action to give you balance and your arms will be used for planting as well as your shoulders for strength.
So if you are like a lot of people who do not like to go to the gym or to do regular exercising then there is nothing better than yard work. Springtime is a great time to ease into physical activity. It will help you to get your body in shape by using up calories and working those tired muscles.
There are many benefits to your body and mind if you work outside. The fresh air will make you feel better, it helps lift depression and the sunshine will give you natural vitamin D, which is vital for all processes in our body. Gardening outside will help you to relax, even though it is work and will relieve the stress of your life.
There are many ways to take advantage of the opportunity to give your body exercise while working outside but keep in mind a few safety issues.
- Warm up by walking first
- Do some stretches to keep from injuring muscles
- Make sure to take breaks
- Make sure to keep hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day
- Dress appropriately for the weather.
- Wear a hat if the sun is out.
Ways to take advantage of the outdoors for exercise
- Use a push mower instead of a riding one. Yes it may take longer but the benefits cannot be passed up. It will increase your heart rate, bring on a sweat and burn lots of calories.
- Use a wheelbarrow as it will help you to gain balance, thus working the core of your body. It will increase the heart rate and make your legs stronger.
- Raking leaves is an easy task to manipulate so you get full benefits. Try raking in different positions and use different motions. Make sure to rake both from the left and right to give equal benefits to your arms and shoulders. Make sure to use gloves as raking a yard takes time and the friction on your hands can cause blisters. Remember do not pop the blisters but protect them and let your body absorb the fluid.
- Digging is another task that you can do. Just remember to not injure your back, so use proper positioning to protect it. Of course switch hands so that you give both sides of your arms and shoulders equal use.
- Instead of using a water can to sprinkle water over your garden, use the hose or use large buckets to give all your body more exercise. You want to utilize what you have to benefit your body.
I helped a friend in their garden the other day planting corn, peppers and tomatoes and I have to say I did not warm up, stretch or anything. I did not drink a lot of fluids and I dearly paid for it. The backs of my legs hurt for a week, at the end of the day my head was throbbing (sun with no hat and no drinking water caused this).
Make this part of your life and you will reap the benefits of a healthier body.
Filed under: Growing Herbs
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