Gardening: A Heart-Healthy Activity

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Woman planting in the gardenMother's Day is a wonderful time to get out in the garden and start planting your favorite flowers.


Although gardening may not come to mind as a calorie-burning task, spending an hour or more in the garden can be a great way to relax while fitting in some physical activity. A 150-pound person can burn around 324 calories during an hour of gardening.

"Gardening can be very therapeutic," said Vonda Shaw, manager of the UW Health Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation Clinic. "Many people really enjoy cultivating and helping something to live and grow."

While a brisk walk or other form of exercise is still an important part of a heart healthy lifestyle, gardening can contribute in important ways. Digging, weeding or squatting down in the garden for several hours, as well as lifting plants can all help to bring your heart rate up.


The physical benefits can be great, but the emotional and mental benefits may be even better. So enjoy spring and encourage the women in your life to spend some time outside nurturing plants and flowers.

"Gardening really provides a wonderful opportunity for someone to get out and enjoy something they love," said Shaw.