Beyond Dirt and Plants
Gardening is good for your mind, body and spirit!

By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder for PlanTea, Inc. and
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul


Tom Hanks' "Power of Four" solution

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primrose flowers in AlaskaWhen the weather is nice, the time is right to get outside and enjoy it. One great way to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and improve your body, mind and spirit fitness is by gardening.

Okay, so you've heard all that before. But gardening is more than moving plants and dirt from point A to point B.

When you're working in the yard, more than your muscles get a workout. Working in the yard can be meditative by allowing you to be quiet, to be in the present and to listen to your thoughts. There's no TV, no cell phone, no driving in rush-hour traffic -- just you, the great outdoors and the task at hand.

Gardening is a great way to clear your mind from life's pressures. It allows you to have fun, too, as you can see by the nearby photo. (I love searching for the perfect rocks to paint as M&M's--plain or peanut.) Plus, working with plants is a pleasant way to pass the time. What's more, like pets, there's no judgment calls. Plants, for example, don't care if you're having a bad hair day. Something we can all relate to.

Okay, if you're more interested in how gardening is going to benefit you physically, here are some interesting numbers about calories burned during gardening activities. The numbers are based on 30 minutes of activity for a 180-pound person. As we go through the list, keep in mind that the average granola bar provides 150 calories:

  • Mowing the lawn pushing a power mower will burn 180 calories.
  • Mowing the lawn pushing a push mower will burn 250 calories.
  • Digging, spading and tilling soil will burn 200 calories.

Gardening allows you to take your exercise program to the great outdoors. You may be surprised to find that in addition to cultivating a beautiful garden and a fit body, your whole outlook on life will improve. That's the real bottom line.

Thanks for visiting and please stop by again. I'll put the coffee on!

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