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Landscaping is an excellent way to connect with nature, beautify your surroundings, and improve your home’s curb appeal. As you work to create an attractive landscape, you may be wondering: Does landscaping get you in shape?
Landscaping can help you get in shape. Routine landscaping activities are physically demanding and can help you burn calories, tone muscles, and boost your cardiovascular health. They can help you burn up to 300 calories in just 30-45 minutes.
The rest of this article will explore how landscaping can help you stay active and in shape. I’ll also provide tips on creating a killer landscaping workout routine to help you get the most of its benefits for your physical health. Keep reading to learn more.
How Landscaping Can Help You Get in Shape
Like any form of exercise, landscaping engages multiple muscle groups and provides various health benefits. As you guide a lawnmower across your lawn or lift a pile of mulch, you’re working your legs, arms, and core. There’s also the added benefit of being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.
Here are some ways landscaping can help you stay in shape:
As a moderate-intensity aerobic activity, landscaping can help you burn 150 to 300 calories (source). Spending 30 to 45 minutes in the garden is enough to significantly boost your metabolism. As you push a lawnmower, carry gardening supplies, and perform other routine landscaping tasks, your body will work harder and burn more calories.
Aside from working your major muscle groups, landscaping helps tone smaller stabilizer muscles. You engage muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back as you perform activities like raking leaves and pulling weeds. Over time, these muscles become more toned and defined. Additionally, the resistance the lawnmower or other gardening tools provides can help tone your muscles even further.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
By getting your heart rate up and breathing more deeply, landscaping can also help improve your cardiovascular health. Aerobic exercise helps increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of heart disease.
In addition, aerobic exercise helps improve blood pressure and reduces stress levels, which are beneficial for heart health (source).
Improve Dexterity and Strength
Landscaping activities also require a certain amount of manual dexterity and strength. As you use gardening tools, carry heavy bags of mulch, or dig holes for plants, you improve your hand-eye coordination and develop greater muscular endurance.
For instance, pushing a lawnmower requires some resistance, which helps tone your arms and shoulders (source).
Tips for Turning Landscaping into a Killer Workout
Landscaping offers three types of exercise:
All of these make it a great way to get in shape. And while it’s easier said than done, there are a few things you can do to make sure your landscaping routine becomes as effective a workout as it can.
Incorporate a Warm-Up
Treat landscaping like any other workout, and make sure to warm up your muscles before getting started. A simple warm-up routine of light cardio and stretching will help prepare your body and prevent injuries when you’re doing something as physically demanding as landscaping.
To get your heart rate up, do things like:
- Walk around the block.
- Do some jumping jacks.
- March in place for a few minutes.
Then, perform basic stretches like arm swings and neck rolls to loosen your muscles.
Use the Right Tools
Using the right tools for the job can make landscaping easier and help you get a better workout. For instance, using a push mower instead of a riding mower will help work your arms and legs more. Similarly, using a hand tiller or shovel will give you a greater range of motion and help target different muscle groups. You should also invest in a good pair of gardening gloves to help you avoid blisters and calluses.
Vary Your Routine
To avoid boredom, vary your routine often. Try to switch up the order of your landscaping tasks and the tools you use regularly. Add in some new exercises from time to time to keep things interesting. For instance, you can incorporate some cardio by jogging or walking between tasks. You can also mix things up by adding strength-training exercises like lunges and squats.
Watch Your Form
Heavy lifting, twisting, bending, and other common landscaping activities can put a lot of strain on your body if you’re not careful. So, make sure you use proper form and technique to avoid injuries. For example:
- If you’re lifting heavy mulch or soil bags, be sure to bend your knees and keep your back straight.
- When using power tools, be mindful of your posture and grip to avoid fatigue and strain.
- Use long-handled tools to help you avoid back strain and pain.
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is essential for any physical activity, but it’s imperative when working outdoors in the heat. Landscaping can be strenuous and dehydrating, so drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. This will help your body recover and prevent cramping and other unpleasant side effects.
Cool Down and Stretch
Cooling down and stretching after your landscaping workout also helps prevent injuries and improve recovery. Take a few minutes to walk around and gradually lower your heart rate. Then, perform some basic stretches for the muscles you worked during your routine.
Involve Your Kids
Landscaping is a great way to get the whole family active. It’s an excellent way to spend quality time together while teaching kids the importance of being physically active. Let them help with smaller tasks like raking leaves, gathering branches, and other age-appropriate chores. Supervise them closely and give them plenty of breaks to avoid exhaustion.
Landscaping is an excellent way to get in shape and improve your overall health. Lawn mowing, trimming hedges, and other common landscaping tasks can provide a great workout if you approach them the right way. Be sure to incorporate a warm-up routine, use the right tools, vary your routine, and cool down afterward to get the most out of your workout. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!
With a little effort, landscaping can be an enjoyable and effective way to get in shape.