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David Domoney on how gardening can help you to keep fit

Gardening is a wonderful method of exercise which not only stimulates the mind but also often gets you outdoors, which boosts vitamin D and access to fresh air. Find out some of the best gardening activities you can carry out to provide plenty of exercise for the whole body.

Gardening exercises for strength

There are a great many gardening activities which are both practical and great for strengthening your muscles throughout the body.  Whether it be your legs, arms, shoulders, back, or abdominals, there are plenty of activities which can benefit the whole body.

One of the best gardening tasks you can do for an all-around muscle workout is digging. Breaking into compacted soil, pushing it down deep into the ground, then lifting the material and moving it to its new location works out a large range of muscle groups. This includes working out your legs when you push the spade into the ground and carry the material away. Your arms, back, and shoulders all get some great strengthening exercise each time you lift the spade and push it back down into the earth. Doing heavy landscaping jobs like this can also help you burn up to 600 calories per hour.

One of the best tools to do this safely and efficiently is the AMES Tools Digging Spade in Stainless Steel. This spade is designed to make digging tasks as easy as possible, with the strong stainless-steel head having a rounded edge to help cut into the surface of the soil, and a D-shaped ergonomic handle to provide a comfortable bracing point. The top edge of the blade has also been curved over, to make pushing the spade’s blade into the soil more effortless, whilst also providing an opportunity to give your legs a further workout.

Gardening cardio exercises

Getting outside and gardening alone is a great way to get yourself moving, improving your overall fitness and stamina. But there are many specific gardening tasks you could aim for to focus on this particular area of your fitness. Any task which requires you to walk regularly around your garden will help to keep you fit, but there are several which can improve your stamina, and help you burn some calories.

Cultivating your soil is an essential gardening task to carry out before doing any sowing or planting. This task also allows you to do a lot of movement for a cardio workout without being high in intensity. Using a soil rake such as AMES Tools Soil Rake in Stainless Steel will help to loosen your soil easily, and level it in preparation for planting and sowing. Moving around your garden beds, regardless of how many you have and what size, will help to improve your fitness and stamina, but the light work of levelling and breaking up your soil will add some additional benefits to your health. Plus, with this soil rake having a long handle (152 cm), you will avoid straining your back as you work. Garden cultivation tasks such as this can help you to lose up to 400 calories per hour of work.

Gardening exercises for fine motor skills

If overall physical fitness is not your goal but instead working on your finer motor skills and strengthening those abilities, there are plenty of gardening jobs to help. This can also be great for getting young people outside and gardening and helping children to improve their fine motor skills.

Doing up close, intimate gardening work can help you to work on your finer motor skills, which can be a great exercise for children, or people such as stroke survivors. Gardening tasks such as sowing seeds and planting established plants into the soil can be safe and ideal for younger children, with some adult guidance. Particularly with sowing seeds, aiming to keep the seeds evenly spaced and in level rows is a great way to train your dexterity to see improvement.

Working on smaller spaces of the garden such as pots, containers, and raised beds also require a more delicate hand, which is great for motor skills and hand strength. Cultivating this soil and breaking it down into a fine texture will help any soon-to-be-planted plants to establish better. By using a hand fork, like AMES Tools Hand Fork in Carbon Steel, you can practice some very direct and minute cultivation work, which is made easier by the contoured handle and rounded carbon steel head. This tool is also perfect for doing some weeding work, using the close-together blades to sift through and lift weeds out entirely, along with their roots.

Gardening can be an excellent way to help get yourself outside and keep fit. By using AMES’ Tools’ range of gardening equipment, you can do so effectively, quickly, and avoiding injury.