In the heat we’ve had lately, gardening will literally melt pounds. You might know I started working out at Curves this year, and it really helps in the gardening activities- because gardening is labor, labor of love surely, but labor all the same. It wasn’t until my gardening season started in earnest that I saw any results with weight loss, even though I have regularly gone to my three times weekly workouts. Not that the loss is phenomenal given my predilection for good ice cream, but the very fact that I can lose while eating what I want means that I am gardening both myself and the yard into shape. Both are in the exercises in optimism, still, but there are grounds for that optimism.
In the “do what I say and not what I do” department, try not to overwork in the heat. That means drink plenty of water, but also discipline yourself to work early or later, but not at midday. At least not out in the burning sun, like I tend to do when on a gardening roll.
Gardening is particularly hard on your back, so practice lifting using your legs as levers and not your back as a hinge. Try to give your back gentle stretches and warming exercises whenever you think of it, this will help protect against injury- which will put you out of commission for lots of things besides your garden chores if you don’t mind what your body needs. ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’, as they say. I have noticed that general toning exercise such as you get at Curves really helps keep my arms, legs and back strong.
What seems to be overworked mainly is my right hip. I try to switch off legs when working at digging, but my default is to rely heavily on that right leg to do most of the work. I don’t have any helpful advice for that, except that I know I should spread out the workload over time instead of my garden warrior habits. I just don’t get a chance to do that, oftentimes. What I can do is ask for help more often, but that old hip can hurt for up to a week afterward if I am overzealous with the shovel.
It has been as I’ve gardened this year that I have seen progress in weight loss, and this is the most beneficial and productive type I can think of… enjoying the beauty of the plants and flowers, the peace and serenity of a quiet garden, and th e satisfaction of seeing a cared for garden take form. Then I go inside to see the pounds lost on the scale! Hallelujah 🙂