Exercises to help prevent your green thumb from turning your back black and blue…….

Spring is here! You can get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day by spending it gardening. You may not think of gardening as a form of exercise, but research shows that gardening can burn up to 400 calories per hour! It is a great way to build strength, balance and endurance while enjoying the great outdoors.

Make sure you warmup before gardening. The marching in place exercises I showed you in the last video would be a great warmup for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Use the stretches below before you start gardening and at the end.  Begin gardening with easy movements like raking leaves, work your way up to more strenuous movements like digging, then finish with some more stretching. Below are some recommended gardening stretches to hit those muscles that are creating beauty in nature!!!!

Use correct form when lifting and bending

Engage your core muscles and bend at the knees, keeping the back straight. The muscles in your legs and hips are the strongest in your body and are built for taking heavy loads. The tiny muscles in between the joints in your back are not – they will get tired and sore very quickly if you use them often. When you get that tired ache in you back, it’s time to rest.  Take a break, do some of the marching in spot and some stretches.

Change it up!

Make sure your movements are varied. Switch sides when doing one-sided activities like raking and digging, alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity activities, and take frequent water breaks. When your muscles are strained from repetitive use you are more likely to get injured so keep changing your movements to give your muscles breaks!

Click here to download these exercises to print off.