Thursday, April 14, 2011

eBUZZ! Health-Wise [from Issue 2011-3]

Gardening to Enhance Your Health

With the oncoming warmer days of Spring, we can wave the gym goodbye and turn to our own backyard for another effective outlet for increased physical and social activity, which can positively affect our mind, body and spirit.

Along with beautifying your home, gardening can provide many health benefits.

Gardening is a wonderful form of exercise, which has been compared to bicycling, aerobics, dancing and weight training. While enjoying yourself in the garden, you are also working all the major muscle groups: legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, back and abdomen.

There can be a great deal of stretching involved with gardening, like reaching for weeds or tall branches, bending to plant and extending a rake. Lifting bags of mulch, pushing wheelbarrows and shoveling all provide resistance training similar to weight lifting, which leads to healthier bones and joints. Yet while doing all this, there is minimal jarring and stress on the body, unlike aerobics or jogging.

You can shed your extra weight by gardening. Spring and summer gardening can be a great whole-body workout to shed extra winter weight. Weight-bearing activities such as digging and lifting can build muscle, and aerobic activities such as raking, mowing and hoeing can burn calories.

Gardening helps you fight stress. Gardening can cause you to focus intently on what you are doing. You naturally stop thinking, obsessing, worrying.

Your garden can provide a place of meditation, contemplation and relaxation for you.

Gardening allows you to have social interactions with neighbors.

Gardening is good for the environment and provides you fresh air.

Vegetable gardening is not only good for your health, but it can be good for your wallet, too.

As with any other form of exercise, it is best to check with your health care provider first, if you're not used to strenuous exercise. Make sure you incorporate a little stretching before and after gardening and take things slowly in extreme heat.

You'll also want to protect yourself from excess sun exposure. Wear a hat and use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. We suggest that you apply our Bee-Moisturized Day Face Cream for SPF 15 sun protection and the moisturizing benefits of Royal Jelly.

Be sure to drink adequate fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated, and retreat to someplace cooler if you feel yourself getting overheated. Refresh yourself with our naturally delicious and caffeine-free Rooibos & Honeybush Antioxidant Drink, which is high in Vitamin C and contains our nutritious Royal Jelly.

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