Cross Training In The Garden

It’s often difficult to find time to get the movement we require. Luckily gardening is a way to “move more”. When gardening you move a greater number of your body parts and move in a way that solves the “no time for more exercise” issue. You squat, bend, pull, lift and carry.

As with traditional exercise, when gardening form matters and maintaining “good alignment” doesn’t mean doing everything in the same position. Biomechanist Katy Bowman came up with these cross-training suggestions to help you reap even more movement and even better alignment from your gardening.

Alternate tasks – do 5 minutes of weeding, then 5 minutes of watering, then 5 minutes of pruning, and so on, cycling through tasks so you’re not in the same body position for too long.

Change you position during tasks – try squatting, standing on one leg, lunging, or v-sitting while you’re weeding.

Mix up your grip – to strengthen yourself on the left and right, hold the trowel with the other hand, or reverse the way you stack your hands.

Use different tools for the same job – if you are digging up a new bed, switch between a large shovel and a small trowel. The task you’re completing is the same, but you’ll be using different parts of your body in different ways.

Carry stuff – carry water in buckets or haul your loads of plants, etc. in your hands. Try taking more trips across the yard before resorting to a wheelbarrow.

Vary your carry – don’t always carry items on the same side of your body. Mix it up.

Find your hips – don’t just bend from the spine, push your butt out and get your hips involved. This move will also strengthen and protect your back.


Recipe of the Week:

This lightened up potato salad (Potato Salad with Lemon and Mint) will satisfy your starchy cravings without a lot of added fat and excess calories. Perfect for a 4th of July cookout!

Quote of the Week:

“Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

  • Walter Hagen

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