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Planning Retirement Online

The benefits of gardening

August 2016

Regular exercise has a host of benefits, including keeping your heart healthy and strong. Getting fit doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. Everyday activities such as gardening have huge physical benefits and can support mental wellbeing too.
 
Gardening is an excellent all-round exercise for improving strength, endurance and flexibility and can be of great help in reducing the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other medical conditions.

It’s recommended that those of us aged between 19-64 do 150 minutes of weekly physical activity – focusing on both aerobic and strength exercises  . An easy way to achieve this is to focus on doing 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

Outdoor Activities

How gardening can burn calories:

 

How the body benefits

Head

Gardeners have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, leading to improved sleep patterns, relaxation and mental wellbeing.

Heart

As a physical activity, gardening naturally helps strengthen the heart, building endurance and increasing stamina, meaning a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.

Back

Raking and bagging leaves means constant bending, twisting, lifting and carrying - all these strengthen muscles. Just remember to bend at the knees to prevent back strain.

Arms

Cutting back hedges with hand-held clippers not only strengthens your triceps and biceps, but also strengthens your core as you reach up and stretch. Work such as raking an carrying leaves can also tone the upper arms and increase flexibility and strength.

Abdominals

Weeding on hands and knees, raking, strimming, and starting a mower are all gardening activities which help strengthen adbominal muscles and build a strong core.

Bottom

Squatting while weeding helps to build and tone gluteal muscles.

Thighs

Pushing a wheelbarrow and squatting to weed flowerbeds helps strengthen quads and hamstrings.

Feet and Ankles

Balance and felxibility is imprvoed, helping to prevent falls in older adults.

Mouth

Social interaction with friends vastily improves mental and physcial wellbeing.

Stomach

A greater exposure to soil bacteria means gardeners have a stronger immune system.

Hands

Gardening can help increase hand strength, pinch force and nimbleness.

 

 

Want to find out more?


Jelf’s healthcare specialists can help put appropriate insurances in place to protect your health and wellbeing in later life. If you’d like to discuss any specific healthcare insurance requirements with one of Jelf’s healthcare advisers, simply:

 

This information is taken from an AXA PPP Healthcare article

 

Sources

NHS - physical activity guidelines for adults

WEBMD - calorie burners

British Journal of Sports Medicine

NCBI - Gardening promotes neuroendocrine

HortScience

NHS - strength and flexibility

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