When most people think of exercise, they think of things like jogging, aerobic dancing, weight lifting, or stationery cycling. Gardening is not usually even considered when it comes to exercise – but it should be. Gardening is a great form of healthy exercise, and it has the extra added bonus of being a productive undertaking. Instead of sitting on an exercise bike, pedaling and going nowhere, you are growing things!
When you garden, you are working several different muscle groups. In addition, you do repetitive tasks, such as hoeing or weeding, which if done consistently fully qualify as aerobic activity. When gardening, some muscles are used that are not often used in other daily activities. Most people have heard the old saying "muscles hurt that I didn't even know I had". There is some truth to this saying when it comes to gardening. For overall fitness, all muscles should be exercised, and gardening is a very healthy way to accomplish this.
One of the ways that you can make sure you are getting the full benefit of gardening fitness is to concentrate on what muscles you are using at different times, and perhaps accentuate the movements. If you are going down rows digging holes for planting seeds, exaggerate each movement, and try to keep moving for as long as you can. If you are hoeing, lift the hoe higher than you normally
would, and even swing it around each time you go to put it into the ground. Try to feel each muscle that you are using to accomplish different tasks, and try to vary what you do each day. Also, do some stretches before you begin any gardening, as this will help prevent muscle injury. After gardening for a while, you'll start to notice a difference in the way you feel and the way you look.