Wellness Pathway #175: Fitness Gardening

Query: What takes more energy and burns more calories? Running a 26.2 mile (42.2 kilometer) marathon in four hours or working in the garden for four hours, pulling weeds, raking leaves, and bagging up the last vestiges of autumn foliage?

If your answer was gardening, then I fooled you by the title of this Wellness Pathway . But the two are not as different as they may at first appear. I burn about 600 calories per hour while running a four-hour marathon. I burn about 400 calories per hour while gardening as heavily as I did yesterday. And the two activities use very different muscles. Gardening could well be viewed as cross-training for runners and as a strong fitness exercise for one and all.

Unfortunately, we often fail to think of gardening in this way. Instead of enjoying the multiple benefits of being in nature, making things grow, cleaning things up, and getting our exercise all at the same time, we moan about the work it takes and seek to hire out as much as we can afford. Don’t go there!

Treat gardening as one more great way to stay fit. Just remember to wear sun screen, insect repellant, work gloves, and sturdy shoes or boots. It’s also important to stay hydrated and to stretch both before and after gardening in order to avoid injury. This is one great way to stay in shape.

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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