Here's Why Gardening Is My New at-Home Workout of Choice

According to my Instagram feed, everyone is exercising at home – and I can’t tell.

Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to leave my little Manhattan apartment behind to isolate myself with my parents in Massachusetts. Since then, my routine has been walking my dog ​​after work, returning to a glass of wine in the kitchen and TikToks in the best couch potato form.

Anxious, bottled up and frustrated by my lack of motivation, one day I peaked when I was sitting on my back porch, desperate to be out of the house.

I randomly projected that energy onto an overgrown pachysandras shrub planted in our yard by the previous owners. My mom and I always planned to remove it, but never had time to tackle the big job.

Picking stems soon turned into a tug of war with the ground. I had no idea that pachysandras are a nightmare to extract – the roots create a complex web deep below the earth.

I took a shovel, put on my work gloves and went to town. I came across an old stump, grabbed a hammer and started to break down the rotting base so that it could be covered with soil and grass.

Three hours flew by. In an unexpected, meditative state and without thoughts, I spent all my pent-up energy until I hit a wall.

I only made a small dent in the garden, but I felt satisfied and very thirsty for a glass of water.

The next day, I woke up painfully in ways I had never felt before. I was no longer confused.

How did the back of my legs hurt from top to bottom? My shoulders, back and arms all performed best.

I realized that I had spent several hours doing squats, lifting pounds of dirt, hammering wood, shoveling and raking with heavy metal tools.

As it turned out, gardening was more of a workout than the fitness YouTube video I neglected, teaching me that prioritizing physical and mental health doesn’t have to be the same for everyone.

The pachysandras shrub has gone from an eyesore to my retreat.

As I continue to practice social aloofness, my new hobby gives me a purpose and a purpose to work towards, helps clear my mind and keeps me in shape.

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Image source: Getty / Sara Monika

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