If you have ever weeded a garden, planted spring flowers or spent the weekend with a spade or shovel in your hands, you are more than acquainted with the "garden variety workout". Not only has gardening been proven to be a great stress reducer, but it kicks butt when it comes to burning calories. Work the garden over for an hour and a half and you will burn anywhere from 500 to 600 calories depending on your weight.
In addition to burning calories, the squatting, bending and digging action will strengthen and tone your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus and many of the muscles in your upper body. If you have any energy left after the flowers are planted, mowing the lawn adds about 300 - 400 more calories burned.
An added bonus to the benefits of the physical activity you will get from gardening, plant some vegetables and reap the rewards of a healthy diet as well. One additional perk of gardening is you will effortlessly get your daily dose of much needed Vitamin D, the all natural way.
We have always been told we should stop and smell the roses, now it seems we can also benefit if we stop and grow the roses.