If you’re anything like most people these days, you probably struggle to find the time for physical tasks — particularly if you already struggle to get to the gym or squeeze in your daily exercise.
Many of the basic tasks in the garden already burn a lot of calories. But if you can up the intensity, you can turn your own green space into a working gym.
1. Weed like you mean it
Let’s face it, weeding is one of the most unpleasant jobs in any garden. It’s usually boring, repetitive and back-breaking work — but thinking about the calories you’re burning should be motivation enough to keep up the intensity. Digging, for example, works your arms, shoulders, chest, back and legs. When you bend down to pull out weeds, take the opportunity to squat for a few seconds.
2. Mow like a maniac
A good, old-fashioned human-powered lawn mower requires lots of elbow grease. Double your usual pace when mowing your lawn, and don’t take any breaks until you’re done. As you walk up and down your lawn, take the opportunity to perform squats and lunges. Mowing the lawn for 30 minutes could burn around 175 calories.
3. Always rake your grass
Done use a grass collector when mowing your lawn, and certainly don’t leave cut grass to mess up your garden. Instead, get a simple rake out, and pull the dead grass from your lawn with sheer brute force. Create a large pile of grass, then load it into your garden bin. Raking your grass vigorously can burn up to 300 calories every hour.
4. Take on landscaping projects
Who says you can’t put a pond in your garden? Who says that water feature you’ve always wanted requires installation by a professional? There are many tutorials on the Internet that talk you through big installation projects for gardens. Not only can they save you money, they can help you work up a sweat. After all, most of these projects involve lifting, bending, carrying, digging and many other forms of manual labour.
5. Ditch the wheelbarrow
A wheelbarrow is obviously a great labour and time-saving tool, but it obviously reduces the number of calories you burn when weeding, clearing debris and landscaping. Leave the wheelbarrow in the shed, and remove debris, weeds and waste products manually. This will involve a lot more lifting and carrying, as well as more trips to and from your waste bins.
6. Prune and trim once a week
Pruning and trimming garden vegetation is as job most people leave until it becomes essential. However, doing it weekly adds to your garden-based workouts, and keeps your garden looking fantastic at all times. If you have trees, consider sawing off overhanging branches yourself. If you’re climbing up and down ladders to reach them, you can triple the number of calories you burn in an hour.
7. Keep things fresh
They say a change is as good as a rest, and that’s certainly true when it comes to the layout of a garden. If you spend lots of time in your garden during the summer, relocating certain items every now and then can keep the environment fresh and exciting. For example, move your garden furniture around to make the best of the available sunshine. Move your gazebos, sheds and greenhouses around too.
In fact, play about with the layout of your garden regularly. Not only is this fun, it keeps you active throughout the summer.