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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sow a Garden; Reap Fitness

     In today's edition of The Oakland Press, writer Gillian Flaccus wrote an article about the increase in the number of Americans who are turning to home gardening this year in order to cut costs at the grocery store (page A-18, "Dollars from dirt: Economy spurs home garden boom").  Did you realize that planting and harvesting your own garden not only provides financial benefits, but is a great way to get in physical activity to help you meet the federal government's recommendations for exercise?  Check out the calories that you can burn performing these lawn and gardening activities:

Calories burned during 30 minutes of activity* (values calculated for a 150 pound person)
Raking yard - 143 kcal
Clearing yard/hauling tree branches - 179 kcal
Shoveling 10-15 lbs. of dirt per minute - 251 kcal
Tilling garden with power tools - 215 kcal
Digging garden - 179 kcal
Spading garden - 179 kcal
Filling garden - 179 kcal
Weeding garden - 161 kcal
Watering garden - 54 kcal

*Energy expenditure estimates are based on metabolic equivalent (MET) values outlined in the ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription 3rd. edition; pp. 659-661.  A MET is a unit of measure of energy expended for a particular activity.  

Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

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