How Many Calories Can You Burn While Working in the Yard?

woman working in a garden

There are very few among us who are not looking to get healthier and that generally includes losing a few pounds.

Did you know that you can lose weight by doing something other than just hitting the gym or taking part in a workout routine? Undertaking various activities at home can go a long way in helping reduce your waistline.

Research shows that chores like chopping wood, mowing and gardening are great for getting your heart rate up. This means that even simple activities can have a positive impact on your general fitness. Imagine how great you'll feel knocking out your to-do list while burning up some calories.

To help you on your path we have determined the number of calories one can burn by doing various yard activities. Later on, we will help you understand how you can calculate the calories burned off after each chore depending on your body weight.

Number of Calories One Can Burn By Doing Yardwork

The type of task and the time spent performing it are the main determining factors for the number of calories you will burn when undertaking the task. Your weight will also influence your calorie count and the amount burnt.

There are varying chores you can do if you are looking to lose weight and stay physically fit. For our examples, we will assume a person of approximately 150 pounds. If you look at the picture, the small-sized number will represent a 200 pounds person.

Below are the number of calories you are likely to lose if you perform the respective tasks.

Planting Trees

Planting Trees
If you're ready to take on a beautification project, planting trees can help serve as a great physical activity.

Doing this for about 15 minutes will help you lose around 60 calories.

Undertaking the same activity for one hour will lead to the loss of 238 calories.


Cutting the Grass

Push Mowing

Mowing the Lawn (Push)
Although it is more difficult, using a power push mower to ensure that your lawn is well kept is a great calorie burner. When you are walking as you use an electric or gas-powered mower with moderate or vigorous effort, your metabolism will be able to use about 340 calories.

This is sufficient to help you lose weight and stay physically fit.

Riding Lawn Mower

Mowing the Lawn (Riding)
For some using a manual or power mower isn't practical due to personal circumstances or the size of the property.

For those, you can use a riding mower and still burn about 102 calories.


Chopping Wood

Chipping wood
How about chopping up some wood over the weekend or splitting a few logs to light up a bonfire! With this yard chore, you will lose a whole 85 calories if you work for 15 minutes.

If you have the stamina to endure the task for one hour, you will be pleased to know that you will have burned 340 calories by the time you are through.


Digging Holes

Digging holes
If you have a small area to create a garden or put up a fence, the work needed to turn the soil manually or create holes with a post-hole digger will not only increase the usability of your land, and possibly its value, but you will also help your body increase its metabolism, which will help burn some calories.

When you perform these tasks for 15 minutes, you can estimate using 68 calories with one hour of the same tasks leading to the consumption of about 272 calories.


Raking Leaves

Raking Leaves
A task that is needed in almost every season, raking is a great calorie burner as well. Whether you're raking up leaves in the fall or grass clippings in the summer, engaging in this task will lead to burning 56 calories in just 15 minutes. If you commit to a full hour you can expect to burn about 224 calories.


Trimming Bushes

Trimming Bushes
Some aspects of yard maintenance are more vigorous than you might think. Using either a manual or electric hedger to keep all your hedges trimmed can result in using about 59 calories over 15 minutes.

Keep that up for an hour and you'll burn 238 calories.


Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow
As you probably know, shoveling snow is the granddaddy of all calorie-burning activities. But because it is so grueling please make sure that you're in the right physical health given the increase in both heart rate and blood pressure.

Bundled up against the cold and manually clearing snow will result in approximately 110 calories burned every 15 minutes. In one hour of continuous activity, you can burn up to 440 calories.

That's enough to cover that piece of chocolate cake you had after dinner last night!

How are the calories burned from yardwork calculated?

When it comes to the calculation of calories burned from performing yard work, you need to know the number of calories burned per minute of activity. The first step in this calculation is to determine the MET value, which is known as the Metabolic Equivalent Task.

MET refers to the amount of effort needed to complete a certain task for a specific time. Different tasks have different MET values.

Please keep in mind that MET values for specific tasks were arrived at for the purpose of research. These values, therefore, do not directly represent the real energy cost each individual would spend in undertaking the activities featured. Also, different individuals put in varying energy levels when undertaking similar tasks. Additionally, age, gender, environmental conditions, body size, and other factors affect the MET of different individuals.

When calculating the calorie burn per minute, you need to multiply your total body weight in kg with the MET value of the specific activity and 3.5. You then divide the value with 200.

Note: 3.5 and 200 are constant values used in the equation.

Now that you have the calorie burn per minute, you need to multiply it with the amount of time spent performing the task.

Let's go through an example, shall we?

Let's assume that you weigh 160 pounds and you have been riding a lawn mower for about 50 minutes. This task has been awarded a MET value of 2.5.

What amount of calories have you burned in this time?

Let's first convert the pounds to kg

160 pounds = 72.73 kg

The formula to calculate calories burned from riding the mower in one minute is = (2.5 x 72.73 x 3.5) / 200

Calories burned from riding the mower in a minute = 3.182

Since you performed the activity for 50 minutes, the total amount of calories burned during this period = 3.182 x 50

Calories burnt after riding a mower for 50 minutes = 159.1

This calculation process, however, might be a little too much for some people. This is because you have to keep track of all the activities you perform and time. To save you this trouble, there are many online calculators to calculate calorie equivalents. All you need to know is your weight and the time you spend undertaking the activity.

As we stated earlier, the energy expenditure for each individual varies. As such, the calculators are set to use estimations for the Metabolic Equivalent as per research. However, they certainly make your work easier since you do not have to go through the hassle of calculating the calories burned performing yard work.

Final Thoughts

Working out is something that has become trendy as many people strive to keep fit and lose weight. However, not everyone has enough time to go to the gym.

If you want to keep fit without going to a fitness center, there is no need to fret because there are various calisthenics you can engage in at home. With these chores, you will be able to make great progress on your goal to stay fit and healthy.

Calories burned by different yard work tasks infographic
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