Garden for Effective Weight Loss
Gardening can be a great way to lose weight, get outside more often, and ultimately become healthier. It can be a great form of exercise without the gym and is considered by the Centers for Disease Control “moderate cardiovascular exercise.”
According to the American Council on Exercising, gardening can burn approximately 300 calories in a half hour. There are also tremendous health benefits to growing your own food.
To avoid injury while exercising, it is important to make sure you know your own physical limits. Do not carry things too heavy for you. Start small and know you can always add more space and time to your gardening efforts.
Get Up and Get Moving:
- Using a garden tiller benefits your arms, back, and core. It also greatly improves the soil, which means better produce.
- Do squats while weeding to help with your leg muscles, glutes, and quads.
- Push the lawn mower instead of riding it.
- Prune dead branches from a tree.
- Digging works many muscles in your body. Your back, arms, and core all benefit from digging.
- Using a wheelbarrow to haul things to and from your garden works your arms, core, and back.
Benefits of Homegrown:
- Homegrown seem to just taste better, making you and your family, more likely to want to eat your vegetables.
- You have the freedom to leave the fruits and vegetables on their plant until you are ready to use them for freshness.
- Pesticides and some fertilizers are known to be toxic, but companies still use them on food. If you’re growing the food yourself, you can take your own precautions against toxins.
- Vegetables that are grown chemical free also have more of the nutrients and minerals our bodies need to stay healthy. It is only a slight difference, but still something to consider.
- It is cheaper to buy seeds and grow them than buying fruits and vegetables, helping to cut down on grocery costs
- You are able to make sure they are stored at the proper temperature, which is often neglecting during transporting to the local food store.
- Being outside can help with self-esteem and depression, which helps keep you healthy mentally in addition to physically healthy.
- Gardening may be able to help your mental health by reducing your risk for dementia as you get older, by about 36% according to researchers.
- Can help maintain hand strength and dexterity in older people who may otherwise less active, or can be used to rehabilitate hands after injury or stroke
Deciding What to Grow
- Plant tomatoes. Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant, which has been connected to bone health. Eating tomatoes also improve heart health and lower cholesterol.
- Both red peppers and green beans contain Vitamin C which improves the immune system, helping to keep your body healthy.
- Blueberries and cranberries have anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known to aid memory functions.
- Sweet potatoes and carrots both contain Beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps to protect against lung cancer, but can actually be harmful when taken in pill form.
Gardening certainly seems like the best option for optimizing your health. It combines great exercise and nutrition, not to mention all the money you will save by no longer needing that gym membership.
Anyone can learn how to garden with some sunlight, water, and a few seeds. You do have to wait for your seeds to grow but the benefits to your health make the wait worth it. Make sure you get up and get outside to start utilizing these great tips!
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