It’s difficult getting into fitness after bariatric surgery, especially if is something that has never been apart of your life. But exercise doesn’t always have to be focused on the gym. Gardening and weight loss surgery go hand in hand to help you lose.
Gardening and Weight Loss Surgery
According to a recent study, participants mostly in their 40’s who had gardened in a community plot for at least a year had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who did not garden; lower by 1.8 points for women and 2.4 points for men. Put into pounds, that amounts to 11 pounds less for a 5’5” women and 16 pounds less for a 5’10” man.
Thirty to forty-five minutes per day reaps many of the same health benefits derived from other types of workouts. such as lowering blood pressure and the risk of diabetes, along with strengthening muscles, joints and bones. The stretching, bending over and lifting are all exercise.
Tasks done when gardening like digging, raking, weeding, mowing, planting and trimming overall burn approximately the same number of calories as walking, cycling, swimming and aerobics – over 115 calories per 30-minute session. Some gardening activities burn more calories than others.
For instance, turn over a compost pile with a pitchfork for 15 minutes and you’ll burn 100 calories. Push a power mover for an hour and poof 300 calories gone! While you may not do these activities everyday you can see how adding in this extra bit of work will increase your body’s ability lose excess body fat. Not to mention all of the good produce you can raise and eat with gardening.
Gardening for more than fitness
But gardening for fitness does not stop there. Not only is gardening good for you physically, but mentally as well. Digging around in the dirt has a calming effect. Part of the reason is that as you work the ground, the hormone endorphins get released into your bloodstream, the same as when you do other forms of exercise. This results in the euphoric feeling most people experience after working out. Many people acquire a deeper connection with nature when working in their garden and seeing fruits of their efforts growing.
Prepare for gardening as you would any other type of exercise. Be sure to warm-up your muscles first with some dynamic stretching exercises. After gardening, do some static stretching as a cool down. If you are going to lift anything heavy, be sure to lift with your legs and not your back.
Gardening and weight loss surgery go hand in hand to give you the weight loss your are looking for. And as you have read it is as good a workout as many of the other fitness routines. Not only are you getting fit, but getting healthy fresh vegetables / flowers in return as an additional reward.
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Geof has been working with bariatric surgery clients for over a decade. His goal with Coaching For Bariatric Success is to give you the tools to make your weight loss successful for the long term.