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Are you one of those people who just can’t wait until gardening season? Are you just excited to see your vegetables and flowers adorning your yard? If you are into gardening, that alone is enough fulfillment to keep you coming back year after year.

BUT…Can gardening actually be counted as exercise? Gardening is actually really good for us in ways you probably have never thought.

Here’s an alarming statistic: People in the US spend more than 90% of their lives indoors. We are really leading disconnected, sedentary and unhealthy lives. So if gardening is a love of yours, why not enjoy yourself and get some of the benefits? Find an exercise routine that you love and the likelihood is that you will do it more often!

Some of the benefits are:

  • Strengthening your immune system: Oh, vitamin D! Outdoors in the sun you soak up vitamin D, which helps you to absorb calcium. Calcium keeps your bones strong and your immune system working!
  • Gardening reduces stress: Gardening is a well-known stress reducer for those who engage. Planting veggies or beautiful flowers not only relieves stress, but will give you stress-reducing benefits for a long time.
  • Gardening decreases the likelihood of osteoporosis: Digging, planting, weeding and engaging in repetitive tasks that require strength and stretching gives your major muscle groups a workout!
  • Gardening burns calories: Need an extra way to burn calories? Gardening! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can burn up to 330 calories with one hour of light gardening and yard work.
  • Can reduce weight and risk of heart disease: Heavy gardening helps with weight maintenance and can reduce the risk of heart disease and other life threatening diseases. Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity a few times a week can prevent and control high blood pressure.
  • It’s great for MOOD and MENTAL HEALTH: In behavioral research conducted at Rutgers University, the results showed that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods and have an immediate impact on happiness and even make for more intimate connections between individuals.

If you love to dig in the dirt, use this amazing activity to feel better and improve your health! And use it as a way to exercise that you will enjoy!