Fitness isn’t just about dragging yourself to the gym. Truthfully, if we apply ourselves, using our bodies for everything from washing the car, cleaning the house, to gardening, can be good for us and another great way to get in shape and burn calories. All of these activities can improve endurance, flexibility and strength. Just getting out into nature, connecting with the Earth, is a great boost to our well-being and immune system. Gardening rates up there with other moderate to strenuous forms of exercise, like walking and bicycling. Lifting bags of mulch, digging holes to plant, weeding, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, all of these activities involve using the major muscle groups: legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, back and abdomen; Perfect for building strength and burning calories.
Another great thing about gardening is it can involve the whole family. Make it an activity that involves fitness, learning and doing something good for you, your family and the planet. The National Institute of Health lists gardening for 30-40 minutes in its recommended activities levels of exercise to combat obesity, along with biking 5 miles in 40 minutes and walking 2 miles at the same time.
Gardening isn't going to replace a high-intensity workout, but like any exercise, we always recommend you check with your doctor before undertaking any new activity. There's nothing better than getting away from the television or computer screen and getting out into nature. Of course, if you don't have a garden or live in an apartment, then this isn't the activity for you. However, if you do have even a small area, you'd be surprised what you can do.
Fitness to most generally means exercise or what you're eating. But let's not forget that the fitness of the planet is also something we participate in. So if you're looking for ideas of what to plant, you may want to consider these herbs, perennials and annuals, which all happen to be good for the bees. There's been a lot of buzz about the bees being endangered, so why not plant herbs that are a delightful addition to any kitchen or medicine cabinet.
The annuals and perennials are gorgeous in springtime and of course, many annuals will delight year round. You may not think you have a green thumb but you would be surprised at the great satisfaction you will have when you harvest something you've planted.
Please "bee" sure to also check out our talented artist's Hannah Rosengren here, who designed this beautiful poster.