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Yard Work and Gardening is Physical Activity

Spring has finally sprung, which for most of us means it’s time to get outside and get those gardens in tip top shape! If you find it hard to get motivated you’ll be happy to know that things like digging, raking, hauling and pruning all support you leading a healthy active lifestyle.There is sometimes a misconception that you must be in a fitness centre, wearing athletic clothing and dripping with sweat to be physically active. Truth is, getting outside in the fresh air and doing some yard work or doing chores around the house provides a variety of health benefits and you don’t need special clothes.

Here are some pointers to help get the most out of your physical activity while tending to your yard.

  • Yard work:
    • Consider more frequent, but less heavy wheelbarrow trips
    • If you have difficulty raking the entire lawn at once, do half earlier in the day and the other later in the day
    • Use a broom to clean your driveway instead of the garden hose. You will a) work the muscles in your upper body, and b) minimize water wasting
  • Gardening:
    • Avoid staying in one position (e.g. kneeling) for an extended period of time
    • When weeding your garden, alternate between your right and left hands to work both sides of your body
    • When lifting heavy soil bags, get your body as close as possible to the bag and ensure good lifting posture

Yard work and gardening can provide you with a strong sense of accomplishment. If you don’t have a garden, offer to help a neighbour or join a community garden. Don’t forget to put on your sunhat, kick back, relax, and admire the fruits (and vegetable!) of your labour. Visit us on Facebook and tell us your gardening stories. Let’s get outside and get active.


References and Resources

HealthLink BC: Staying Active in Hot Weather

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