Green gym in the garden: fitness and gardening
In the summer, the garden is a great alternative to the gym: in addition to mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges or maintaining the flower beds, you can practice your usual exercises. Green gym: try it now!
Nature and outdoor exercise have an addictive potential. Turn your backyard into your own personal gym. A garden is more than an oasis of greenery or a space for a barbecue. It’s the ideal place to stay in shape or get back in shape.
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Gardening to burn calories
In Europe, gardening is the second most popular physical activity. Each person evolves at his or her own pace and uses his or her body according to his or her abilities. Gardening is a succession of movements, stretches, gestures, moderate and repeated, which work the whole body, gently. The energy expenditure is comparable to that of a “soft” sport.
The Ministry of Health recommends 30 minutes of sports activity per day. There is nothing to prevent you from replacing a sport with gardening. The effect is just as beneficial:
- Mowing your lawn for 30′ = ½ hour of cycling;
- Digging for 1 hour = 1 hour of swimming;
- Gardening for 2 hours = 1 hour jogging at 10Km/h ;
- Weeding 1 hour = 1 hour of aerobics
Make the right gestures to avoid injury
Pay attention to your posture, make the movements “clean”. Don’t forget to do a few warm-up movements before starting the gardening session to avoid aches and pains.
- When lifting, remember to bend your knees to protect your back.
- Equip yourself with practical and ergonomic equipment (long-handled tool, workbench or table for potting, cushion for working on your knees, gloves to avoid blisters or cuts).
- Respect your rhythm. It is better to go gradually. Listen for pain signals.
And the icing on the cake, by practicing gardening regularly, the result will be twofold: a beautiful garden and a stronger body!
Green gym @ home
The Green Gym was invented in 1998 by William Bird, an English physician and botanist, and combines classic fitness exercises with gardening.
In England, the original objective was primarily ecological: to involve and motivate the population in the maintenance of city parks and gardens. In England, 10,000 gardeners get to work every week to build up their bodies(vertenville).
It’s not about performance, it’s about maintaining your physical condition. You stimulate your cardiovascular system and strengthen your muscles without too much effort or complex movements.
As with any physical workout, don’t overdo it at first. Start with simple things and build up gradually so that your sore muscles don’t spoil your fun. And don’t forget sun protection so that your gardening session doesn’t end in sunburn.
And to get you started, here are some examples of green gym:
Playing the scarecrow
No need for an old hat or straw in this case. Simply hop on the spot and raise your arms and legs in rhythm. Excellent warm-up, small cardio exercise ideal to get in shape. You stimulate your blood circulation and solicit the muscles of the legs. And if you do the jumps barefoot, you also strengthen your calves and foot muscles.
Making the board … or the garden bench
Doing the plank, leaning on the forearms is excellent for training the core muscles. In the garden, this will make you look like a bench … Start by holding your head in line with your spine for a few seconds, feet together, only the tips of your toes touching the ground. Pull your stomach in and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line.