Yes, it’s summertime, and while a lot of us are thinking beach parties, beach volleyball and other things like swimming, surfing, and just plain hot weather fun, there is that tight community of people that spend their summer days, cultivating, hoeing, watering and weeding their own personal space called their gardens!

Why is gardening so important?
We'll start with the most obvious reason why cultivating plants is so important: We cannot eat, drink, or breathe without them around. No plants = no life and that can't be healthy! After all, if you remember your early science classes, you know that plants give off oxygen after taking in the bad carbon dioxide that we as humans produce, both by exhaling and from the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels! Daily gardening chores like watering, weeding, trellising, mulching, and harvesting are great ways to augment an exercise regimen

Is gardening a good workout?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, gardening is compared to “moderate cardiovascular exercise.” Gardening 30 to 45 minutes a day can burn 150 to 300 calories.

This isn't just standing there watering the flowers, but weeding, digging, hoeing, raking and planting. Digging that dirt for the first time in getting the garden ready for planting is as we all know a tedious time in which our arms, legs and even our backs and thighs get a pretty good workout. After all, anyone who has spent time in prepping their garden knows, its that aching feeling when you try to straighten up after you've taken care of a patch or two.

Muscles used: the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles in the legs, as well as the buttock muscles. Biceps and triceps in the arms and the trunk muscles are also worked as you dig. Stretch: stand with your back straight and feet hip-width apart. Spending an hour or two in prepping your garden is a pretty good workout that benefits building up your "Core".

Now, we are not saying that the time spent on gardening is not a substitute for focused cardio and strength training, but it combines low-impact exercise with other benefits we can’t find at the gym.

So, if you’re thinking of canceling your gym membership in favor of doing some landscaping around your house, you’re missing the point here. We are saying that enjoying and taking care of your garden has other benefits available to you then just enjoying the beauty of your cultivated flowers and the bounties of your produce harvested from your garden.

Taking time every morning and evening to tend to the veggies, train the honeysuckle or admire budding iris takes us outside. This might seem trivial, but research shows that being in natural surroundings can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and improve concentration. Communing with nature is a clichéd phrase used in jest more often not, but it proves to be a significant factor in challenging any number of diseases and disorders.

So you see, gardening can be a big part of your Spring, Summer, and Fall (Harvest) seasons. After all, if you're growing your own herbs, you may have a small crop of mint being raised and I bet that a leaf or two of that mint would play a nice part of that summertime favorite, the “Mint Julep” you just might be enjoying poolside!

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