Work Out with Yard Work

Ask anyone who has spread mulch in their yard, and they’ll tell you that yard work is quite the workout! Whether hauling mulch, spreading soil, raking leaves, or pulling weeds, you’re guaranteed to break a sweat. That's because gardening works all your major muscle groups. Even something as simple as planting flowers involves squatting, which engages your legs for support, your core muscles for balance, and your arms and shoulders for digging.

That's just one example of how working outside can give you a workout! As the spring weather rolls in, it’s the perfect time to get outside and garden—you'll transform your yard and your body (by burning extra calories and working those muscles).
By using the outdoors as your own personal gym you'll rake-in the benefits! Fresh air is always uplifting, especially in the springtime. Being outside is a great way to relieve stress and relax. Plus, sunshine helps boost Vitamin D production, which aids in the absorption of calcium.

Heavy yard work is a great way to add variation to your regular exercise program, while light gardening can be great for exercise beginners. If you do yard work as a way to burn calories, take full advantage of what the great outdoors have to offer:
  • Use a push mower instead of a riding tractor. This adds intensity so that you're working harder, elevating that heart rate, and burning more calories.
  • If you are raking up leaves, change the movement and direction to make full use of your muscles. Rake in front of your body to target your shoulders. Rake both right to left and left to right to work both arms evenly. This way, you'll help prevent blisters by avoiding repetitive motions too.
  • If you're using a wheelbarrow to haul yard waste, soil, or mulch, take an extra loop or two around your garden before you set your goods down.
  • When digging, switch back and forth between hands so that you are utilizing both arms.
  • Instead of using a small watering can, heave the heavy hose around the yard with you. You’ll also have to use those muscles to put it away and wind it up when you're done.
You may have experienced some aching muscles after working outside in the past, but there are actually several things you can do to prevent this soreness while still enjoying the outdoors:
  • Yard work utilizes your major muscle groups just like any workout. So, always warm up first by simply taking a short walk around your yard or down the block to get the blood flowing to your muscles.
  • Then, try some light stretches for your hamstrings and lower back (especially if you'll be doing a lot of bending).
  • It’s a good idea to take a few breaks throughout the day to drink some extra water and do some additional stretching.
As an active gardener, you can grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables! Ask you local gardening center about setting up a pot for tomato vines or green peppers. There is nothing better than fresh, homegrown produce to motivate you to eat healthier.

Grow! Enjoy the outdoors. Weed, mulch, dig and rake. Try all of these activities, get your hands in the dirt, and include yard work as a part of your healthy lifestyle.
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Member Comments

Just a balcony! Report
Yeah! I love gardening! Report
Good information, but how do I log the activity? Report
Awesome...thanks.
.. Report
I really enjoy doing yard work. Report
Gardening is sooo much more fun to me than "yard work".... I think it is a perspective thing. Cleaning it up and getting my yard all full of flowers and greenery, it gives me a zen space. I love it! And hey, free exercise!! Report
I can not begin to tell how much I hate yard work I do it because it has to get done, but the whole I am doing it I am hating I always have. More so in my older years between bad back and knees there is not enjoyment at all,if I had the extra money I would hire a gardener or cement it over so no more weed pulling or mowing Report
Not only a good workout, but fresh food too. Also lots of pretty flowers. Report
TOMATOCAFEGAL
Garden work. Good info to know about warming up. Report
ONLYME33
Wet Spring has put yard work on hold -Now dry, it's time to catch up-Wish I had read this yesterday and prepared/prevente
d some for sore stiff achy today. Good info Report
Great article! Report
Great article! Report
Thanks for the information Report
BONDMANUS2002
Absolutely great Report
Good article. Report

About The Author

Liz Noelcke
Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.