For many people who know me, you know I am not a manual labor type of person. However, after yesterday I might just have to pick up that shovel more often. My husband and I worked out in our yard from 1 pm until 6:30pm. We ripped out bushes, tree stumps and invasive plants. Using old school methods and our little Toyota we were able to clear 20 plus trees.
So why am I blogging about this you might be thinking. Because at the end of it all I walked over 5 miles, over 13,000 steps, and burning over a thousand calories. My shoulders and lower back feel the burn from yesterday….I love that feeling! I was able to apply my strength training in lifting the cement stones from around the mulch beds, moving trees from one end of the yard to the other and digging up deeply rooted plants. I could apply good body mechanics because of my knowledge of how to lift safely.
In doing a little more research it is found that doing yard work is a huge stress reliever. Just shutting off your brain and completing repetitive actions like racking and mowing helps the mind relax. Also, being outdoors increases our Vitamin D levels which builds bones and decreases arthritic pain. Plus, all the lifting and pulling increases bone density, for middle aged women, like myself, this is so important. For most lawn jobs, it is low impact so this decreases the risk of injury. Lastly, as I learned yesterday, there is an instant gratification to this work. The sense of accomplishment is huge both looking at a job well done and the stats on my Fitbit. Don’t have a fitness tracker, use the link below to help give you an estimate calorie burn for each lawn activity. Garden Away!
Stacie A. Zamperini M.Ed.