Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Yard work beats a trip to the gym


Don’t worry if you can’t make a trip to the gym because of yard work. Yard work burns calories and uses your abs, strengthens your arms, and is a killer workout for your legs. Yard work provides a great workout, burns lots of calories and increases muscle strength and definition. So mow, rake and plant. You will get a great work out, and a sense of accomplishment at the same time.
The internet exercise site Exrx has an excellent guide to calculate the calories burned during yard work.  Calculating the calories burned in one hour doing heavy yard work (based on body weight and number of minutes):
Weight 125 pounds = 425 calories
Weight 155 pounds = 527 calories
Weight 200 pounds = 680 calories
Heavy yard work burns 3.4 calories a minute (choose any weight above; divide the calories burned for one hour (60 minutes) by the weight. If you want to see your results instantly, try an inexpensive fitness tracker. The fitness tracker lets your monitor your heart rate and view the calories burned as you work.
So what is heavy yard work?
Lawn mowing
Mowing the lawn is equivalent to walking on the treadmill. If you have a hilly yard, the workout is even better. Mowing uses the major muscles in the upper body and legs. If you use a bagger on the mower, the trunk and arms benefit from bag removal and emptying. If you rake and bag the mown grass, you receive the same benefits as raking the yard.
Rake and clean the yard
During the early spring, raking up leaves and debris is equivalent to a workout on a rowing machine. Raking uses the entire upper body, the chests pectoral muscles, the shoulder muscles and the back muscles. Picking up leaves and debris works the quads, the hips, and the buttocks.
Digging
Digging with a shovel or a spade is equivalent lifting weights. The digging action uses the quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, the buttocks, biceps, and triceps. Maintaining balance as you exert the muscles provides a palates workout for the trunk.
Weeding and planting
Planting and weeding is equivalent to a cross trainer, with the added benefits of arm, shoulder and back muscles as you pull up deeply rooted growth. Planting and weeding use the back, shoulder, and arm muscles, the buttocks, and thigh muscles. Whether you kneel or squat to weed and plant, the trunk muscles are engaged for balance.
Fun fact: If you are carrying and spreading bags of mulch or top soil, the addition weight and action can burn 7 calories a minutes.