Getting Fit Through Gardening In a Nutshell!

Garden following the Aerobic Model:

  1. Warm-Up
  2. Stretch (leg stretches, hips, shoulders, neck)
  3. Light Exercise - light raking, picking up branches, pruning
  4. Increase Exercise Rate - (Raise heart rate to between 50 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate.)
  5. Exercise for 20 to 30 minutes (Exercising thirty minutes or longer will burn more fat)
  6. Stretch (again)
  7. Cool down

Get in the habit of stretching every day whether you garden or not.

Six Positions for raking, hoeing and weeding.

  1. Bend one leg, knee down to the ground, keep the other foot flat,
  2. Bend both legs in a kneeling position.
  3. Squatting - known as the "Oriental Squat" this may be uncomfortable at first but can be learned after significant practice.
  4. Lunge and weed (my personal favorite). Using a hand weeder (Smith and Hawken), you will lunge with on leg straight back and bend one knee in front of you.
  5. Sitting: If you're knees, feet or legs won't permit much bending then sit and garden. Exercise your arms and waist. Use long handled tools.
  6. Standing, with knees bent, back straight in a crouch position, raking in a wide, sweeping motion.


* When raking or hoeing always alternate between a right-handed and left-handed stance.

* Always Breathe out during the exertion phase and in

* Use Ergonomic Tools - long-handled with a push / pull motion.

* Garden for short periods - 1 to two hours maximum unless you are in great shape.

* Rake, hoe or weed in terms of repetitions and sets.

* Always, Always, ALWAYS bend from your knees and not your back!


For more information, my books, Get Fit Through Gardening (2008) and Fitness the Dynamic Gardening Way, are available!


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Home Page This page updated March 17, 2008