Find out how gardening can help you build muscle, reduce stress and lose weight.
What do gardening and walking have in common? Both are great ways to exercise. Digging, weeding and other gardening activities use all of the major muscle groups and burn plenty of calories, too.
What health benefits does gardening offer?
Gardening can help you:
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Build stronger bones, muscles and joints
- Improve your heart and overall health
- Reduce stress
- Enhance your mood
- Jump-start your immune system
- Boost your brainpower
How long do you need to garden to reap the benefits?
Spend 75 to 150 minutes working in your garden each week. Performing 75 minutes of heavy gardening (activities that make you breathe hard and fast) or 150 minutes of moderate intensity gardening (activities that make you sweat and raise your heart rate) meets the weekly aerobic physical activity recommendations for adults. Gardening at least twice a week also meets the recommendation for muscle strengthening activity.
How do you avoid injury while gardening?
Whenever you exercise, including gardening, make sure you stretch first, vary your activities and listen to your body. If you feel you are pushing too hard, stop for a day. If you are new to exercising, build the amount of time you spend gardening slowly. Protect your back by rolling, pushing or pulling heavy loads instead of lifting them.
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Date Last Reviewed: April 15, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew P. Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS