Gardening

You may be wondering if gardening is counted as a physical activity? Believe it or not it is considered a moderate cardio-vascular activity. Just 30-45 minutes a day can give your heart and lungs a great workout and burn as many as 150-300 calories which is similar to jogging and cycling. All while making yourself a lovely space to spend time in.

Gardening isn’t simply standing there watering flowers, but weeding, digging, hoeing, raking and planting. It involves many of the elements of a fitness routine, like stretching, pulling, pushing and lifting. And it’s such an enjoyable hobby, you might not even realise how active you’re being.

Everyone can try gardening, no matter what age or level of fitness. It’s great for spending time with the kids or simply to take up as a hobby and build yourself some lovely surroundings.

If you don’t have a garden, you can pick up window boxes and hanging baskets from local garden centres to display outside your home. If you don’t have your own garden, you could volunteer to help in your local neighbourhood as there are some community organisations running gardening projects. 

Local allotments are also great places to meet friends who share the same interests, swap tips and learn more about the world of gardening.  Allotments are really popular in Liverpool and there is currently a long waiting list of people wanting to rent one.  However, there are Volunteering opportunities available if you fancy helping out now and again or every week.  You can contact alan.morrow@liverpool.gov.uk to find out more about this. 

There are many benefits to taking up gardening both for your general health and wellbeing, your mood and to improve your fitness, among many others:

  • Helps to keep you relaxed
  • Boost feel good hormones
  • Helps improve balance, flexibility and all round fitness
  • Improve your mood
  • Sociable activity
  • Reduce stress
  • Improve balance and general mobility
  • Increase muscle strength in the legs.
  • Helps improve mobility in those with arthritis
  • Low impact exercise that doesn’t put pressure on bones and joints
  • Improve heart and lung function
  • Manage weight
  • Tone muscles
  • Increase stamina and energy
  • Reduce tension, anxiety and depression
  • Sleep better
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Reduce the risk of stroke

If you have a garden you can keep the cost fairly low. All you’ll need are a few gardening tools, which can be picked up fairly cheaply at most DIY stores and discount stores. You may also want to invest in some seeds or bedding plants, the costs of these vary from plant to plant so it’s completely up to you how much you want to spend.

If you have a garden you can do this activity at home, but you could also offer to help out in the local neighbourhood communal areas, schools or community centres nearby. Or perhaps offer help to neighbours who aren’t mobile enough to tend to their own garden. As we mentioned earlier, you can also visit local allotments and pay for your own plot of land fairly cheaply.