Garden Your Way to Stronger Bones

By Caitlin Watzke
Gardening is an effective way to fight osteoporosis. The University of Arkansas found that women who garden or do yard work at least once a week have higher bone density than those who do traditional forms of exercise.  Having a higher bone density decreases the risk of osteoporosis, which affects about 54 million American men and women.

Lead researcher Dr. Lori Turner was quoted as saying, “[Gardening is] taken for such a dainty activity.  But there ís a lot of weight-bearing motion going on in the garden –  digging holes, pulling weeds, pushing a mower.”  The National Osteoporosis Foundation states that weight-bearing exercises are important for building and maintaining bone density.

People are likely to garden more often than other forms of exercise because it feels less like a workout and more like a hobby.  It also provides exposure to the sun, which helps the body produce vitamin D and absorb more calcium, an important nutrient for bone health.

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