When we think of exercise we think of fixed slots of long duration spent in the gym. But studies have proved that spending less than an hour on a workout could be productive too. On an average, adults need 150 minutes of moderate activity and 75 minutes of high intensity work out in addition to strength exercises. But when there is zero motivation or the gym can’t be accessed or just for a break, there are still ways to get work out done and cheerfully so.
Home work outs can be as effective as those in the gym. In fact, even though the intensity drops, these workouts can be even more effective as these are prolonged and aimed at a slow and sustained calorie burn.
So, when your work-out routine slips, get out, at least as far as the garden. Indulge yourself in this organic workout and gift yourself some amazing benefits:
1) Gardening is the best aerobic exercise. An early morning spent in the garden, tending to plants, weeding, potting, mulching could be the best mood lifter you could get. Don’t forget to hug a tree or two, or walk barefoot on the grass.
Count the benefits of this organic workout:
- It keeps you away from the monotony and arduousness of counting the number of reps when you do your push-ups or pull-ups.
- You no longer need to be watching the timer on the treadmill.
- Gardening will keep you engaged and connected with the sights and sounds of nature. This has been known to drastically reduce anxiety and stress levels in people.
- Exercising with the view of the natural world with its flora and fauna is a visual motivation and exercise too.
- Getting your hands dirty in the mud helps to unravel the knots in your mind. Who knew!!! The upshot is that it also frees you from the pressures and anxiety of everyday life.
- The magnificent beauty of nature liberates you from the emotional ruts and recesses and claustrophobia you are stuck in.
- Those who work in the garden are found to have improved sleep quality, appetite and other cognitive functions.
2) Gym junkies, rejoice. Those who need their gym-moves-fix can still get their organic workout. This is because the garden is the perfect spot for cardio, abs, yoga moves and stretches.
Here’s how you do it:
- Take sprints around the periphery, stretch yourself on the cement sidewalk and do crunches, push-ups and ab cycles.
- Spread your yoga mat right where the sunlight is gentle and do some power yoga and plank moves. The exercise and exposure would be good for the heart, circulation and the skin too.
- If the ground is soft, you could do some back kicks and high knees and spot jogging without damaging your joints.
- With an understanding and compatible partner by your side, you could do some effective stretching too.
- Play a game of badminton or throw ball or tennis. These sports get your heart rate high and bring your team and competitive skills back to the fore.
- Have your friends and cousins come over and organize a day of games like hide and seek, lemon on spoon, duck walk and animal crawls. This could get all those unused muscles to work.
Nothing can beat a well-structured exercise. But outside-the-gym workouts break the routine and challenge our learning and focus too. Plus, it is cheaper and flexible on timing. The best part of outdoor exercise is the unpredictability of the routine and the smartness involved in carrying out the unplanned module. At the end of it all, you feel accomplished and on top of the world. And the fun you have is an added bonus.
Vijayalakshmi Sridhar’s stories explore human relationships and their dynamics. She is enjoying her journey as a writer of fiction and features.