Monday, October 29, 2007

Gardening is good for you

Maybe I'm more outdoors-oriented than many Americans, but I'm beginning to think that we're really getting out of touch with physical activity that's fun and beneficial. I read a post by an exceptional garden blogger (Susan Harris at Beyond Sustainable Gardening and Garden Rant) where she mentioned that some of her clients marvel at the idea of moving plants. You mean you dig them up? Yourself? Well, why not? Let's get to it.

Bending, digging, and planting is certainly good exercise, and equivalent to boring activities that we pay for at the gym. Lifting pots, dragging hoses around, spreading mulch, raking leaves; all of these gardening activities can be considered not really chores, but an opportunity to get some exercise outdoors, in hopefully lovely surroundings.

Our Canadian colleagues are way ahead of us -- they've got websites that promote the beneficial effects of gardening, and how to take advantage of them.

I'm ridiculously proud of myself when I do something that is beyond what I think I'm physically capable of (check out the previous post about laying a flagstone path. But why shouldn't I try to move stones, or dig my vegetable garden by hand, or drag around bags of mushroom compost? Would I rather do that or lift weights at our campus gym?

I know what's more fun and rewarding!

2 comments:

  1. So true! We moved in early May, and immediately started a brand new garden (for the first time!). I have lost so much weight - from the exercise and the eating food straight from the garden - and I've gained a lot of muscle, too!

    Also it does great things for the psyche. I work at the computer most of the day, but often take breaks to go do a little work in the garden. It totally perks me up and makes me feel refreshed!

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  2. It's great to get outdoors and do some physical work to offset the 'work in front of the computer' that so many of us do. What a wonderful thought to take breaks out in the garden!

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