As you pause a moment in your weeding or pruning and catch sight of a couple of joggers, ever wonder if they're getting more of a workout than you are? Keep wielding the hoe. As exercise, gardening measures up just fine.
Gardening is beneficial to the cardio-respiratory system because it frequently involves walking, often while carrying objects, and the tasks often require you to maintain the effort for at least 30 minutes. When weeding, trimming or raking, your body is going through its full range of motion and maintaining flexibility.
Heavier tasks, such as shoveling or digging, are especially beneficial to improving muscular strength and endurance because they provide the most resistance, but even lighter tasks such as trimming shrubs tone the arms and most of the upper body.
Article published on June 23, 2008.