Heading to the gym isn't everyone's cup of tea, but this doesn't mean you have to miss out on it's benefits. According to research, leisure activities such as gardening can actually have just as many physical benefits as working out. Who knew?
A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine measured participants' "leisure time physical activity". After comparing this time with the risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other fatal diseases, the results were pretty astounding.
The recommended weekly amount of exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle is 150 minutes, but doing "leisure time physical activity" for just 10-59 minutes a week resulted in an 18 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality according to the study. And the more you do, the lower your risk, with those engaging in 150-299 minutes of physical activity each week had a whopping 31% decrease in mortality.
"Leisure time physical activity" could refer to anything that exerts physical activity, but is more fun than your monotonous routine at the gym. So spending a night dancing qualifies, as does walking, hiking, and swimming. But one of the best activities for this kind of benefit is gardening, with it's large array of movements and actions.
As well as the physical benefits, including increasing muscle tone and strength, gardening is also linked to other health benefits like decreased anxiety, stress and depression, according to a report by Preventative Medicine Reports.
So getting out in the garden can not only be your destress time, but also your exercise for the week. And this autumn weather is the perfect time for it. So get out in the yard this Easter weekend - your body will thank you for it.