Katelyn Sander

Because Gardening IS a Workout!

Living Well...together, while apart

Digging, planting, pruning, weeding… squatting, hip hinging, reaching, retracting, pushing, pulling…

There was a time when we didn’t have gyms. You could argue we didn’t need gyms because the majority of adults participated in manual labour to some extent.

Whether you want to qualify it as manual labour or not, gardening IS exercise. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, gardening stimulates the heart, taxes muscles through the legs, core, shoulders, arms and hands, and can burn up to 300 calories in 30 minutes. Moreover, all that fresh air, sunshine, and sense of purpose decreases stress, boosts Vitamin D, and increases sense of fulfillment and self-esteem.

In order to optimize all those benefits, we want to do what we can to keep your gardening form strong, efficient, and help you avoid some common injuries.

Bend from the hips and brace your core:

Initiating bending down from your hips and simultaneously engaging your core will reduce risk of low back pain and strain. Also, starting to squat or bend from the hips before you bend your knees, ensures your glutes stay involved and will help your knees track properly.

Retract and depress your shoulder blades:

Keep the shoulders down and back as you reach forward and up. The shoulder joint works best when your scapulae remain depressed and retracted. Maintaining this position engages the lats – a very large muscle! – which will give your pulls more power and endurance. The thoracic and cervical spine are better braced in this position reducing neck and shoulder injuries. Also – as the nerves can operate better when the shoulder capsule and spine are more open – you are less likely to suffer elbow and wrist problems as all those smaller muscles can be more effectively innervated.

Keep loads close and maintain a neutral spine:

When lifting heavy bags of soil or potted plants, engage your hips, legs, and core. Maintain a neutral spine and exhale to increase your brace as you lift. Keep the load close to your body and avoid twisting while moving.

Balance your wheelbarrow:

When using a wheelbarrow, keep the load moderate and evenly distributed throughout the barrow. Brace your core as you lean slightly forward from the hips. Draw the shoulders down and back and bend the knees slightly as you grasp the handles. Straighten the legs, keeping the shoulders down and back, and keeping a slight lean forward. Brace your core and step forward, flexing both glutes and the muscle through your lower abdominals as you begin to move the wheelbarrow forward.

Rotate, but don’t twist:

In fact, avoid excessive twisting during all your gardening activities. You can safely engage the core and rotate about 10-12 degrees to the right or left – exhale as you rotate – and bring your entire rib cage, shoulder girdle, and neck/head with you as you rotate. If you need to reach beyond that small rotation, take a moment to reposition your lower body instead.

Invest in a gardening stool or pad. 

Vary activities and postures:

Remember your muscles can only sustain a static position for so long before losing integrity and therefore efficiency and safety of the contraction. So, get up and move around often. Mix up light work low to the ground with heavier standing work. This will tax certain muscles while others take a break. Will serve to remind you of adopting ideal postures more often. And will add a cardiovascular benefit to the workout as the heart gets nicely stimulated when we alternate dynamic positions frequently.

Check out these exercises in our Trainer Moves to help you prepare for an awesome season and a beautiful garden!

Today’s Inspiration

“Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years.” – Unknown

This Week’s New Class

On Core with Lori

Join Lori every Thursday from 1:00 – 1:30pm for her new On Core live workout. This class – like Garth’s on Tuesday nights – is designed to challenge your core and stabilize your trunk in just 30 minutes!

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 868 1155 7138
Password: 998132

Today’s Live Workouts

Today is going to be a great day because we’ve got our FOUR live workouts for you to join, including a BRAND NEW addition!


Join Adriana for your morning pick-me-up! This workout will focus on moving through a full range of motion and develop your full body control, flexibility, and usable range.

Recommended equipment: yoga block or pillow

Join Adriana at 7:30am (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 812 2541 6617
Password: 013104


Get an amazing cardiovascular workout on an indoor bike. The workout will simulate an outdoor ride, including a mix of intervals and hills.

Recommended equipment: bike trainer

Join Brian M at 12:00pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 862 7308 7908
Password: 263088


This workout will challenge you to your max! Come out and perform the prescribed workout for the day. This workout utilizes all your skills, from coordination to endurance and strength.

Recommended equipment: dumbbells (or weighted objects)

Join Garth today at 12:00pm (35 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 842 2984 9491
Password: 510345


This workout will challenge your core and stabilize your trunk in just 30 minutes! (All levels)

Recommended equipment: light/medium dumbbell or weighted object (water bottle, book, etc.)

Join Lori today at 1:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 868 1155 7138
Password: 998132


Click here to view this week’s schedule.

To learn more about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren directly.

Today’s Trainer Moves

To help you prepare your body for the gardening season ahead, Meg has put together a series of exercises for you that includes a bit of mobility and strengthening work. As well as providing a quick review of proper mechanics on lifting and seated positions that you may find yourself in this spring and summer.

If you’d like a bit more guidance as you make your way through these movements, we suggest you follow along with this video.

If you’re just looking for a quick refresher, Meg goes through the exercises again here without so much explaining.

For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Meg here.

Today’s Bite

Shrimp Fettuccini with Asparagus

We’re not sure about you, but the asparagus in our garden has started to sprout! We’re excited to make this recipe again later this spring when we’re able to make it with our own asparagus. It’s an easy, flavourful recipe that can be completed in just 30 minutes – the perfect midweek dinner option!

If you’d like more recipes like this, please check out our Spice of Life Recipe Book.


  • 1/2 lb spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccini
  • 1 lb asparagus trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 or 21-25 count)
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt, divided, plus more for cooking pasta
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice from 1 large or 2 small lemons
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • Grated parmesan, to serve


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil and cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente, or desired doneness (meanwhile, continue with recipe). Drain pasta, return to pot, and cover to keep warm.
  • Place a large, deep pan over medium/high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add asparagus, season lightly with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and cook uncovered for 5 minutes or until crisp tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan.
  • In the same hot skillet, add 2 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon butter. Once the butter is melted, add minced garlic and sauté, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Add shrimp in a single layer and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until shrimp are pink and not translucent (about 2 minutes per side). Be careful not to overcook or shrimp will be tough.
  • Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and return pasta and asparagus to the pan. Toss everything to combine and serve with grated parmesan.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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