Burning calories doesn't necessarily need to involve a sweat session at the gym. Anything that gets your heart pumping can be considered exercise, including yard work. In fact, spend 30 minutes on any chore such as gardening, dusting, scrubbing the tub, washing the car and cleaning windows and you will burn plenty of calories plus strengthen and tone your muscles.
Tending the Garden
Whether digging holes to accommodate new plants or pulling out the weeds, tending the garden is a great way to burn calories and work on your muscles. Spend 30 minutes digging and weeding and you will burn up to 315 and 115 calories, respectively. That is equal to a 45-minute bike ride and a 15-minute weightlifting session. Furthermore, gardening activities strengthen and tone your shoulders, arms, thighs, calves and butt. Up the intensity to experience a cardiovascular workout.
Clearing Leaves and Snow
When autumn leaves start to fall, forget the leaf blower and pick up a rake. Rake the leaves and you will burn up to 225 calories in 30 minutes. Raking leaves requires a full-body effort, therefore conditioning all major muscle groups in your body. Plus, the resistance between the rake and the ground and the leaves is very similar to the resistance felt while weight training, which helps build stronger muscles, too. When wintertime rolls in, pick up a snow shovel and burn up to 400 calories in one hour.
Clear some trees off your lawn and burn some calories while you're at it. According to Harvard Health Publications, chopping or splitting wood burns between 180 and 266 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your weight. Turn all of that wood into a neat, stacked pile and burn an additional 150 to 222 calories. Add workout elements, such as squats and curls, to your yard work routine to add intensity and burn more calories.
Mow the Lawn
Save the planet, and your waistline, and invest in a hand push mower. Not only will you reduce emissions that are released from riding and push power mowers, you will increase your cardiovascular health as well as strengthen and tone your arms, legs and butt. When you use a hand push mower you will burn between 165 and 244 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your weight. A push power mower burns calories, too. However the range is less, between 135 to 200 calories, respectively.
- Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.