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Shovels in the dirt
 

Gardening for Fitness

Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, beautify the community, and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables. Healthy gardening gives you the opportunity for exercise and a chance to connect with nature.

Gardening for just 30 minutes is considered a moderate-intensity physical activity. Light gardening or yard work can burn 165 calories/30 minutes for at 154 pound person.

If you are a beginner or expert gardener, health and safety should always be a priority. Below are some tips to help keep you safe and healthy so that you can enjoy the beauty and bounty gardening can bring.

Dress to protect while gardening.

Gear up to protect yourself from lawn and garden pests, harmful chemicals, sharp or motorized equipment, insects, and harmful rays of too much sun.

  • Wear safety goggles, sturdy shoes, and long pants to prevent injury when using power tools and equipment.
  • Protect your hearing when using machinery. If you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm’s length away, the noise can be potentially harmful to your hearing.
  • Wear gloves to lower the risk for skin irritations, cuts, and certain contaminants.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET. Protect yourself from diseases caused by mosquitoes and ticks. Wear long-sleeved shirts, and pants tucked in your socks. You may also want to wear high rubber boots since ticks are usually located close to the ground.
  • Lower your risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Wear long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sun shades, and sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher.

Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/family/gardening/index.htm, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html