There’s a reason it’s called housework. It’s flippin’ hard work!

Just in case you needed an excuse for ditching today’s run, chores around the house are a surprisingly great way to keep fit. Plus, you get bonus points for being way more productive than you would be if you were running (literally nowhere) on the treadmill.

According to the Centre for Disease Control, gardening can be compared with “moderate cardiovascular exercise”. Gardening for 30 to 45 minutes a day can burn a whopping 600 to 1,200 kilojoules. We spoke to Rebecca Searles, founder of Family Garden Life, who tells us why gardening should be the next fitness trend, for our bodies and our minds.

Build serious strength

“If you have ever shovelled soil from the back of a trailer or pushed a wheel barrow up a slope filled with new turf, you would know how much of a work out you can get in the garden,” says Rebecca. She’s built some serious muscles from all the strenuous work she does outside, and loves how she feels sore and tired at the end of a full day of gardening, saying, “it’s a win-win for me and my garden!”

Plant some positive seeds

Not only does getting in the garden help build some serious guns and powerful legs, it does wonders for your mental fitness. “My garden is my lifeline,” says Rebecca, “and it’s not only me, so many people benefit from connecting with nature and getting outside in the fresh air and sunshine.” In the garden is where she finds clarity, where she goes to work through any obstacles in her life. “Our fast-paced technology driven society can really weigh you down sometimes, and gardening is a place to refuel and rebalance,” says Rebecca.

Tips for gardening newbies

There are a few things that you need to do on a regular basis to start your garden-fit journey. “Start with basic care and maintenance of your garden, like raking and weeding,” says Rebecca. Given they can burn between 800 and 1,600 kilojoules an hour, these simple maintenance tasks are not to be scoffed at! Rebecca suggests saving the labor-intensive work for the weekends, when you have a bit more time to dig holes to plant shrubs and push the wheelbarrow around, which will burn up to 2500 kilojoules an hour in the process.

Convinced? We sure are! Cya later gym membership, we’ve got a garden to maintain, guns to build and some serious mental clarity to manifest!

Ready to get started on your garden-fit journey? Visit Family Garden Life for all Rebecca’s green-thumb secrets—from beneficial insects for your garden, to moon cycle planting (yes, it’s a thing) to homemade weed and fungicide remedies.