Gardening offers many benefits to physical, mental and social well-being. Not only does it give you the chance to get some fresh air and sunshine, but gardening also provides valuable opportunities for muscle and bone building. This is because it requires you to push, pull, twist, bend and lift as you tend to plants and garden beds.
To get you garden-ready this season, here are five simple exercises you can perform anywhere and anytime, regardless of ability:
GROW YOUR MUSCLES WORKOUT
Duration: Five to 10 minutes
Position: Seated or standing
Walk or lightly jog on the spot or while seated for two minutes. Be sure to swing your arms to warm up your upper body as well.
Perform the five exercises below as fast as possible, being sure to go slowly on the way down and quickly on the way up. Complete one to two cycles, moving at a comfortable pace from one exercise to the next.
New to exercise: 30-second intervals, 10-second rests
Confident exerciser: 45-second intervals, 15-second rests
Exercise pro: 60-second intervals, 30-second rests
Exercise 1: Squat or Sit-to-Stand
Sit on the front of a stable chair and keep your toes back underneath your knees with your feet hip-distance apart. Lean forward slightly to bring your nose over your toes. Using your leg strength and while keeping your arms extended, lift yourself up into a standing position. With your arms raised and using your lower body to resist gravity, slowly lower yourself back down. If you need a little more support, use your arms to push off the chair or your knees, but if you’re feeling confident, try performing the exercise without the support of a chair!
Exercise 2: Wood Chop
Whether you’re sitting or standing, start with your feet hip-distance apart, arms extended up over one shoulder. Slowly rotate your arms down and across your body, moving your arms toward the opposite hip (performing a wood chop movement). Keep your head, chest, torso and hips facing forward. Hold the end position briefly before returning to the starting position on the opposite side so you can increase your strength on both sides.
Exercise 3: Single Leg Stance (Right)
Stand upright behind a stable chair with your feet close together or remain seated in an upright position. Lift your left foot off the ground, keeping a tennis ball-distance between your legs (try not to let your legs touch). If you’re stable, release one or both hands. Hold and balance for a timed duration.
Exercise 4: Single Leg Stance (Left)
Stand upright behind a stable chair with your feet close together or remain seated in an upright position. Lift your right foot off the ground, keeping a tennis ball-distance between your legs (try not to let your legs touch). If you’re stable, release one or both hands. Hold and balance for a timed duration.
Exercise 5: Wall Push-Ups
Begin by standing hip-distance apart while facing a wall. Place your hands on the wall in line with your shoulders. Slowly bend your elbows and begin to lean your body toward the wall until your nose almost touches it. Keep your back straight and elbows bent out to the sides at around 45-degree angles, then push your body weight back to the starting position. To add intensity, move your feet further back!
Including these simple exercises into your daily physical activity routine will be sure to get your body ready this spring so both you and your garden can grow!
Everything gets better when you get active!