How Much of a Workout Is Yard Work?

Yardwork workout_rotator

There’s something to be said for old-fashioned, outdoor manual labor. It makes you feel accomplished, connects you to nature and comes with the bonus of making you jacked.

Don’t believe us? Just look at Groundskeeper Willy. If a fictional cartoon character isn’t enough proof, try out these double-duty “workouts” and feel the burn. Put your muscles to good use and tally up the calories you’ll shed from these fall chores.

Mow the lawn Equipment adds convenience, but cuts out the cardio, muscle stimulation and calorie-burning effects of hard work. Ditch the riding mower for a traditional push mower for a cardio workout that conditions the calf muscles. According to, a 150-pound man can burn 408 calories an hour mowing the lawn.

Trim the hedges Gas-powered hedge trimmers are for cheaters. Do it like a man and grab a pair of manual cutters. They stimulate muscles in the forearms and shoulders and according to, one hour of playing Edward Scissorhands will lop off approximately 235 calories.

Rake the leaves You might want to wait for a calm day for this one, but raking on a windy day just means more of a workout. According to the Discovery Health Calorie Counter, raking the leaves for one hour racks ups nearly 292 calories. Your shoulders will feel the burn, too.

Chop firewood If you want to get a workout and look like a badass wielding a giant axe, don’t just buy prepared firewood—man up and chop it yourself. Just 30 minutes of this lumber-jacked workout will pump up the back, shoulders and core, and cut your calorie surplus by 247 according to

Weed the garden The grass is cut, shrubs trimmed, leaves raked and there’s enough firewood to last an ice age. But the yard could still use a few aesthetic touches. Dig, hoe, weed, plant and water your way to a beautiful garden (there’s nothing feminine about that) and just 30 minutes of playing Home Make Over: Garden Edition will expend approximately 160 calories.

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