Move and Grow!
Engaging in physical activity is good for our bodies and important at every stage of life. Specifically, physical activity strengthens our muscles and keeps our heart strong. For adults, it is recommended to engage in 150 minutes or more a week (30 minutes a day for 5 days a week) of moderate aerobic activity and two days a week of muscle-strengthening movement. Activity should be at least 10 minutes in length and can be spread out during the day. Walking, biking, or lifting weights are common physical activities and garden activities like prepping, planting, harvesting, and winterizing can also count towards reaching your physical activity goals!Large muscle groups in our body are activated when doing garden activities like digging, weeding, raking, lifting, and planting. For example, we use arm muscles when lifting tools or a watering can, abdominal (core) and back muscles when shoveling or raking leaves, and leg and rear muscles when squatting to pick up a bag of soil or while weeding and planting. Additionally, bending or stretching through garden movements increases flexibility and strengthens our joints.
Try to do the garden activity for a counted repetition or continuously for 15 to 30 seconds. Repetitions or reps are the action of completing one movement. For example, 5 lunges while weeding is equal to 5 reps. The number of counted or timed repetitions to complete a movement is 1 set. It is recommended to complete 2 to 3 sets during one session. Your safety is important with all physical activities. Be cautious and understand your physical limits when trying to lift a heavy object. Note, for all types of physical activity, a person’s age and fitness level may determine the level of intensity. Consider warming up with a walk around the garden or moving small hand tools before starting more intense activity.
Gardening is not only a way to be physically active but also provides a sense of achievement, can improve your mental health, and provides an opportunity to be outside and enjoy nature. Gardening also allows you to grow your favorite fruits and vegetables or try something new!
Written by: Michele Scaife, Extension Agent – Better Living for Texans, Montgomery County and Lindsey Breunig-Rodriguez, Project Manager – Better Living for Texans.
Recipe of the Month Fall Harvest Sheet Pan Dinner
Use seasonal fruits and vegetables to get a variety of options throughout the year and save more money at the grocery store. Try using sweet potatoes in this month’s recipe.
- 1 12-ounce turkey sausage link, sliced
- 2 cups potatoes, chopped (about 1 to 2 potatoes)
- 2 broccoli crowns, chopped (about 1 pound)
- 1 cup large onion, thinly sliced (about ½ onion)
- 1 large apple, chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Add sausage, potatoes, broccoli, onions, and apples to a 17×12-inch sheet pan.
- Drizzle oil and sprinkle Italian seasoning over ingredients. Gently toss to combine.
- Roast in oven for 30 to 45 minutes. Stir once while baking.
Note: Baking time can vary depending on thickness of chopped and sliced ingredients.
Nutrients Per Serving: 260 calories, 11 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 8 g total sugar, 0 g added sugar, and 17 g protein
Recipe from Lindsey Breunig-Rodriguez, Project Specialist – Better Living for Texans