When I was sent this information I just knew you guys would love it. How about burning calories with gardening? Gardencise is the perfect exercise without leaving your garden and still burning as many calories as you may with a run or swim.

lady mowing the lawn with young child following with a toy lawnmower
Lady mowing the lawn

We all know that a bit of gardening makes us hot and sweaty but how many calories does it really burn. Is it actually a worthy exercise? Could you do this instead of going for a run? I have some information from Evergreen Garden Care which tells us a bit more about how we can burn calories gardening – Gardencise!

What is Gardencise?

I am not suggesting you take weights into the garden or a yoga mat. It literally is doing gardening to burn calories. Gardencise! The calorie values we have is based on someone who weighs 10 stone. So the reality is for everyone who weighs more than that you are burning even more calories!

Just by doing what you would be doing in the garden anyway you could lose weight, bonus I say! Apparently the average person burns 80-140 calories per mile running. Clearly we had underestimated some of these gardening jobs as they are actually reasonably similar. Though maybe you have to do them a little longer.

wheelbarrow full of mud in well kept garden
mud in a wheelbarrow

How can you exercise while gardening?

Mowing: get rid of long, dead and old grass with a quick 20-minute session of mowing the lawn, and burn up to 94 calories in the process. The Fitbit I bought after reading an article on MyPriceGuide showed you can definitely burn up to 94 calories whilst mowing the lawn but obviously, it depends how much effort you put in, my garden is hilly which helps!

Digging: revamp your garden by digging and prepping your garden to plant something new and burn over 320 calories an hour in doing so!

Weeding: burn up to 280 calories an hour by squatting for each weed you pull out – remember to engage glutes for each weed!

Pruning: make your movements as wide as possible when pruning by increasing the arc from your starting position to your ending position.  Pruning garden shrubs can burn up to 280 calories an hour.

Raking: Put maximum energy into raking and seeding the lawn and burn over 125 calories in a half hour session!

Shoveling: burn over 570 calories when shoveling garden waste into a wheelbarrow or garden waste bin

Carrying: strengthen and tone your arms and shoulders by pushing a wheelbarrow.  Carrying heavy loads in the garden can burn up to 490 calories an hour!

Using Tools: when using tools to remove weeds, trim hedges and dig plants, perform gardening tasks in the same way as you would in the gym to get maximum benefits. For example, incorporate lunges between each movement etc.

Balancing: have fun in the garden between mowing and digging to balance and strengthen and stabilise your body on props around the garden

Running: make the most your beautiful lawn with running, skipping, and aerobic exercises like star jumps between gardening.

wheelbarrow with mud and a garden fork inside

Garden exercise tips

Before starting any garden exercise or gardencise, warm up by doing some body balancing exercises to target deep muscles that support the spine.

Regularly change jobs; try to limit the time spent on any one activity to 20 minutes

Ensure you do some post-gardening stretches and keep stretching regularly to prevent any aches and pains.

soil with hand tools and plants in pots

How many calories can I burn an hour?

Look how an hour of the following activities for a 10 stone person can burn so many calories.

Watching television56
Carrying heavy loads490
Chopping logs quickly1070
Collecting grass or leaves252
Digging322
Mowing lawn with a push-along mower280
Mowing lawn with a ride-on mower154
Planting seedlings/shrubs252
Raking lawn252
Shovelling574
Pruning shrubs280
Weeding280

Just to put this into perspective, 100 calories is equal to 2 ginger nut biscuits, 9 pringles (crisps not tubes!), a small glass of wine, or a 2 finger KitKat! Don’t shoot the messenger though these are all according to the NHS.

someone kneeling raking soil

Why Gardencise is so good for your mental health

It is so important to be outside and in the fresh air and can really help us mentally. As you know I have depression and have talked to you about this previously. Sometimes just sitting outside watching the birds and clouds makes a huge difference to the way I am feeling. While outside then I get motivated to do some gardening.

Fresh air and no screen time makes a difference to things like headaches too. Do you have a lot of headaches which may be due to the screen use or stress? Have a walk into the garden and see what a difference it can make.

Knowing how many calories gardening can burn does inspire me a little more to get out and do it. Do you agree?

To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more check out my comprehensive Weight Loss section.

Other articles about exercising at home you may find helpful

If you are looking to get the most out of exercising at home these articles may help you.

4 reasons you should invest in home gym fitness, home gym equipment advice and how to workout without leaving the house

How to exercise indoors whatever the weather

How to choose an exercise bike

How to get back into exercise after giving birth and the best thigh exercises for women

How to put together your own fitness program and budget home workout equipment whilst buying gym equipment you will actually use

How to make time for workouts and how other parents fit in exercise

8 ways to start exercising regularly in just a week

Tips to help you achieve 10,000 steps a day

Ways to make your home more conducive to exercise and how to exercise in a small home

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Home workout routine without equipment

Pinterest pin of gardening
Pinterest pin of trowels with soil

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