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Why I Garden: To Get More Exercise to Stay Healthy

With every new year, thousands of Americans come up with a list of all types of resolutions. Most of them concern changes that they want to make that will improve their life somehow. One of the top resolutions on the list has always been weight loss. Everyone wants to be thinner, look better and feel more confident. And maintaining a healthy weight is also important for the health.

Being overweight increases the risk of many kinds of diseases, while it also stresses the joints and bones. The most common way to work towards this goal is to go spend hundreds of dollars for a membership at a local gym. This generally tends to be a complete waste of money, though. Sorry gym owners, but working out at a gym is pretty boring, especially for those who prefer to be outdoors. Luckily, there is a great alternative solution to getting some exercise. All a person needs to do is garden!

It might sound ridiculous to think that just spending time out in the backyard doing what you love could be burning any calories or toning your muscles, but it does. In fact, studies have shown that performing some of the most common gardening tasks for about an hour a day can burn close to 300 calories. Of course, this number varies depending on what a person weighs, whether or not they are a man or a woman and the activities that person is performing.

The top calorie-burning activity to do outside is mowing the lawn. Using an old-fashioned push lawn mower with blades that turn is the best. A close second is a push lawnmower that is powered by gasoline. Unfortunately, no points are given for mowing the lawn while sitting on a riding lawnmower.

Since the lawn doesn't need to be mowed every day, trying to get some other form of gardening exercise in can be problematic. But every task counts. You can try carrying bags of mulch and digging up bulbs more often. Or maybe install that fence around your roses that you have been putting off. The trick is to keep moving for at least an hour. The less time that is spent sitting around, the more calories that you burn.

Gardening tasks often work the entire body, so they are great for toning muscles and building strength too. And some physical fitness experts have said that they are functional exercises. That means, they help prepare the body for more intense forms of exercise that mimic the same movements.

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