Get Fit with Help from the Garden

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on November 11, 2016 by TruGreen

For those that do it, it’s probably no surprise that gardening and yard work have been scientifically proven to relieve stress. The act of getting away from your desk and computer and playing in the dirt or yard among beautiful plants can help reduce the stress that causes irritability, headaches, stomach aches, and worse, according to the Michigan State University Extension

But it’s not just the brain gardening helps. The outdoor hobby is also an excellent way to get physical activity, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees, recommending that people vary their gardening activities to broaden the range of benefits.

Calorie Count has estimated the amount of calories burned per outdoor activity, assuming a general weight of 150 pounds. 

General gardening

Calories burned: 272/hour 

Gardening with heavy power tools (Tilling, using a chainsaw, etc.)

Calories burned: 408/hour

Picking flowers or vegetables

Calories burned: 204/hour

Digging (spading, filling garden, composting, etc.)

Calories burned: 340/hour

Mowing the lawn

Calories burned: 374/hour

Raking leaves

Calories burned: 292/hour

Shoveling snow (by hand)

Calories burned: 408/hour

To add variation to your yard exercises, consider making the following adjustments:

  • When raking, change your movement and direction to make full use of your muscles and prevent blisters.
  • Switch to a push mower to add more intensity to mowing.
  • If you’re working on a project and hauling material in a wheelbarrow, take the long way back and forth.  

Whether you’re hoping to support your New Year’s resolutions with some spring cleaning in the yard or just looking for a healthy activity outdoors, consider looking to your yard for a source of exercise. It costs significantly less than a gym membership, and if you’re gardening, it can offer delicious, healthy food for the whole family.  

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