Beyond the fruits (and flowers and vegetables) of your labor, the perks of working in the dirt go far beyond the harvest.

You know how it’s illogical that people take escalators and elevators and then go to the gym to use the stair machine? The same could be said for people who go to the supermarket for produce and then go to the gym to workout – why not just combine the two by spending time in the garden?

As anyone who has spent time working in a garden knows, it takes some effort. Unless you’re Sami, of course, our resident self-described “Lazivore” who promotes the fine art of no-dig gardening. Or unless you’re Derek, who urges us not to rake the leaves. But for everyone else, it’s work – but you might be surprised by just how many calories this work can burn. Not to mention the other health benefits that tending to green things can deliver. UK insurance company AXA PPP put together the infographic here to show how beneficial to health working in the garden can be. You can see from the first graphic how many calories are burned in an hour.

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In the next part, notice what a wonderful nose-to-tail workout you can get! Everything from emotional well-being to gut health to muscle strength all get a boost.

And lest we forget the other perks of working in the dirt as well, including:

• Saving money on produce
• Saving money on a gym membership
• Conserving resources used in going to the gym
• Saving resources used for producing, packaging and shipping commercial produce
• Ensuring that your supply of inexpensive organic fruit and vegetables
• Providing habitat for wildlife and especially pollinators

Of course, this is all provided that you have a bit of Earth to call your own. If not, consider joining a community garden or bartering work for produce with friends or local farmers. At the very least you could volunteer at a park or work on public cleanups. Just get outside and move around for an hour and all this can be yours as well, no gym membership required.

Shared with permission from our friends at TreeHugger.

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The Hearty Soul
Health Network
We believe in using natural ingredients to be as healthy as possible. We believe dieting will never work as well as a lifestyle of healthy habits will. We believe you can treat pain and disease without relying on addictive drugs. We believe being happy is a big part of a healthy life.