If you’re one of those people who’s always postponing your gym sessions, now you may actually be able to postpone them indefinitely. According to a new study conducted by researchers around the world, “leisure time physical activity” can actually be a great substitute to the dreaded leg day, or an hour on the treadmill. “Leisure time physical activity” can include a wide range of activities, like gardening, dancing, and even just going for a walk. Compared to a sedentary lifestyle, doing these activities for just 10 to 59 minutes a week was proven to lead to an 18 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality — including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The study took place over 11 years, involved nearly 90,000 participants, and used data from 12 National Health Interview Surveys organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The idea that gardening could be linked to health benefits isn’t a revolutionary idea. Previous studies have found that gardening is associated with a decrease in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, along with increases in quality of life, life satisfaction, sense of community.
While gardening might be a solid gym substitute in the spring and summer, however, you’ll need to find another “leisure time physical activity” to keep yourself occupied during the cold winter months.