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Tired of your normal workout? Grab your gloves and head to the garden.

Written by Mandie Caraway

Published on Jun 21st, 2016

Gardening is good exercise

This summer, try a new workout that can both center and “ground” you—gardening. This inherently satisfying pastime cultivates beauty, deepens your connection to nature, has been shown in clinical studies to improve mood… and is a great calorie burner.

That’s right. The National Institute of Health recommends gardening 30–45 minutes three to five times a week as part of a healthy strategy for combatting weight gain and even obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention place gardening in the “moderate cardiovascular exercise” category.

So just how many calories can you burn when you get down & dirty? Research studies show that 45 minutes of gardening can burn as many calories as 30 minutes of heart-healthy aerobic exercise.[i]

Gardening also works all the major muscle groups:

  • arms (hello triceps!)
  • shoulders
  • neck
  • back
  • legs
  • butt
  • core

And those really strenuous gardening tasks? Iowa State University conducted research that measured just many calories you can burn:

  • Digging Holes - 197 calories
  • Planting - 177 calories
  • Weeding - 156 calories

    So this summer, whip your garden into shape and shed pounds at the same time.

    [i] Former National Gardening Magazine editor Dan Hickey



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