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No matter what part of the country you are in, it is time to spruce up the yard. Autumn is harvest time and clean-up time as many are dealing with leaves falling from the trees. Here in Phoenix it means reseeding the Bermuda grass for Rye grass which also takes work. The good news is that work can often translate to calorie burning. Think of this as a time or break from a mostly sedentary lifestyle. It is also so satisfying to literally see the fruits of your labor at the end of the day.
So just how many calories do you actually burn doing these chores? An average person will burn about 406 calories mowing the lawn for an hour. If you’re weeding, mulching or planting your spring flowers, you’ll burn about 250 calories in an hour. This is also a great leg workout as you’re squatting and getting up and down. Remember to pull your belly button into the spine, not only to work your core, but to also protect your back.
Tone up those shoulders with the upper body work associated with raking leaves. You will also burn about 120 calories in an hour if you keep a modest pace. Put on some music and kick up the pace a bit and you’ll increase that caloric burn. You’ll l also work your entire body as you pull those bags (eco-friendly I hope) to the curb for pick-up.
If you absolutely hate yard work, hire someone to do it and enjoy the fall foliage in some other fashion. The most important thing is that you keep yourself active. Leisure activities such as cross country hiking for about an hour can burn nearly 450 calories. A bike ride at a modest pace can burn nearly 600 calories. Try something new such as horseback riding (this is on my list) and burn 300 calories an hour. As the days get shorter, I feel I need to earn my longer sleep time and kick it up a notch. It makes hitting that pillow each night so much more rewarding!
Joanne Sgro is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.