The best thing? You don’t actually have to do formal exercise outside! Just moving around tidying and digging is hard work!
Gardening is a full body workout that uses every muscle in the body, and is really varied, which is important as you don’t want to leave areas neglected! There’s bending and squatting, carrying and lifting, digging, walking and reaching high. It’s important to go at your own fitness level and not hunch over or carry too much else you risk injury. But that’s another benefit of gardening; you can go at your own pace without an instructor shouting in your ear!
Go faster! Make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes so you don’t slip, watch you don’t trip over objects or holes in the ground, and always be mindful of good posture. But it really is as simple as putting a bit more effort in so you can feel yourself getting slightly out of breath and your body getting warm. Carry a bit more than you think you can (without over-straining so you don’t hurt yourself) so you feel your muscles getting tired.
The fresh air and sunshine you get in your garden are benefits not found in a sweaty gym, and many people are deficient in Vitamin D, which we get primarily from sun exposure. Even if it’s cloudy outside, you’ll still be getting some benefits. Being in nature is proven to help with mental health too, lowering stress and improving symptoms of depression.
Yoga can be done anywhere! As well as the fresh air and vitamin D benefits from being outside, yoga’s spiritual side emphasizes being grounded and in touch with your body and your surroundings in that moment, which are ideally done in nature. Use a matt so you don’t have to exercise on wet or muddy ground, and make sure you’re wearing sunscreen and a hat so you don’t overheat. Have a bottle of water to hand too.
Humans were born to be in nature and while central heating and modern technologies have made life more comfortable, this does mean we’re less inclined to get out into the elements. But the thought is often much worse than the reality and once you feel the physical and mental benefits of an hour outside in nature you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it more often before! It’s just a case of dressing appropriately and being prepared for the weather conditions, but it’s worth the effort!