Wellness Health & Well-being An Hour of Gardening Does This to Your Body By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated May 21, 2020 Public Domain. HOerwin56 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Wellness Health & Well-being Clean Beauty Beyond the fruits (and flowers and vegetables) of your labor, the perks of working in the dirt go far beyond the harvest. You know how it's illogical that people take escalators and elevators and then go to the gym to use the stair machine? The same could be said for people who go to the supermarket for produce and then go to the gym to workout – why not just combine the two by spending time in the garden? Gardening Can Be Exercise As anyone who has spent time working in a garden knows, it takes some effort. Unless you're Sami, of course, our resident self-described "Lazivore" who promotes the fine art of no-dig gardening. Or unless you're Derek, who urges us not to rake the leaves. But for everyone else, it's work – but you might be surprised by just how many calories this work can burn. Not to mention the other health benefits that tending to green things can deliver. UK insurance company AXA PPP put together the infographic here to show how beneficial to health working in the garden can be. You can see from the first graphic how many calories are burned in an hour. © AXA PPP HealthcareIn the next part, notice what a wonderful nose-to-tail workout you can get! Everything from emotional well-being to gut health to muscle strength all get a boost. © AXA PPP Healthcare Other Perks of Working in the Dirt • Saving money on produce• Saving money on a gym membership• Conserving resources used in going to the gym• Saving resources used for producing, packaging and shipping commercial produce• Ensuring that your supply of inexpensive organic fruit and vegetables• Providing habitat for wildlife and especially pollinators Of course, this is all provided that you have a bit of Earth to call your own. If not, consider joining a community garden or bartering work for produce with friends or local farmers. At the very least you could volunteer at a park or work on public cleanups. Just get outside and move around for an hour and all this can be yours as well, no gym membership required.