In a regular series, Alasdair Urquhart, from Haskins Garden Centre in Ferndown, will provide expert gardening advice and simple steps to gardening success. Alasdair is Haskins’ in-house plant expert.
We’re all tired of hearing that old chestnut ‘new year, new you’ but what about if this really could be your year to get fit? For those that love gardening, there are many health benefits of working in the garden.
Celebrate the start of the warmer, sunnier weather and get out in your garden. Guaranteed to burn calories, spending just one hour in the garden can be hugely beneficial to both your mental and physical wellbeing.
Research has shown that you can burn up to 400 calories weeding, up to 350 mowing the lawn, up to 200 planting flowers and 120 from watering your plants. Activities in the garden are of great benefit to the body – regular tasks such as hedge cutting helps strengthen biceps, pushing a wheelbarrow helps strengthen quads and hamstrings and squatting while weeding can help tone glutes. Gardening can help mentally too – gardeners have lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which in turn aids sleeping and relaxation.
In conclusion, staying fit doesn’t have to mean an expensive gym membership! You can help tone all the muscles in your body by a thorough afternoon in the garden. Also, it goes without saying that gardening is an activity most do during daylight and therefore the exposure to vitamin D is increased. Regular gardening will reduce the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency.
Alasdair Urquhart is Haskins’ in-house plant expert. You can tweet him
@HaskinsGarden with any questions or visit www.haskins.co.uk. Haskins has a centre in Ferndown, Dorset and also in West End, Southampton.