Get Out There

Weeding Is Exercise

Last week some people celebrated National Weed Your Garden Day. We originally intended to make a post about it. Then we decided that giving fire season tips to people who don’t live on the west coast was more pressing.

The good news is that we haven’t missed our opportunity to discuss weeding your garden. You don’t need a national holiday to do it. Anyone with a garden knows it’s an ongoing task. If you don’t weed regularly, it can get away from you and your garden can become overrun. As well as being unsightly, weeds can crowd the roots of your plants, take the nutrients from your soil and kill the plants you want to grow.

Weeding can be pleasant if you make it part of your daily routine. If you weed for five to 10 minutes a day, you can keep your garden beautiful, and it’s excellent exercise!

When you weed, you are stretching all sorts of muscles. You lean, stretch, squat and kneel. You burn through a lot of calories as you make your yard beautiful! Harvard Medical School estimates that a 150-pound person burns around 112 calories during 30 minutes of weeding. If they are weeding intensely, they can burn up to 167 in 30 minutes. Weeding little sprouts from loose dirt will burn fewer calories than pulling big thistles with long roots from dry, packed soil.

Any movement counts as exercise. Weeding is a repetitive motion, like cycling. It helps builds muscles and can help you loosen up. Just like cycling, it can be as strenuous of a workout as you decide. It’s also a full-body muscle workout — you use your thighs, back, shoulders and arms to weed. It can aid grip strength and dexterity. It can aid core strength and flexibility even if it doesn’t get your heart pumping like a run might.

Just like any other exercise, you have to watch your form when you are weeding. Bending at the waist instead of the knees is one of the leading causes of gardening injuries. If you will be squatting up and down a lot, it’s important to stretch beforehand so you don’t injure yourself and take a break if something hurts!

Weeding might seem like an odd thing to celebrate. It’s a chore, not a party. But, it’s a form of exercise that is rewarding. You spend time outside in your yard and, at the end of it, have a beautiful garden, a sense of accomplishment and completed a workout!

Banner image: AT via Unsplash

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