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How to Lose Weight While Gardening

By Candee Stark

Have you ever dreaded the idea of pulling weeds, planting a tree, or pushing a lawn mower around the yard? Does just thinking about it make you sweat? I am sure the majority of are nodding your heads in agreement.

What I am about to suggest only takes a slight change in your thinking and a bit of planning and you can learn how to lose weight and get in better shape while gardening this year. For those of you that are already gardeners, you know that gardening is one of the best ways to get exercise because it involves all of the muscle groups in your body.

Like I mentioned earlier, we only need to change the way you think about outside chores. See I am falling into the trap too, I just called them chores. Instead, you should think of them as outdoor exercises that are designed to enhance the condition of your body and help you lose weight.

As with any exercise program, check with your doctor before starting. Make sure you are dressed properly and that you stretch before beginning. If you arenít used to exercising in the garden or have been relatively inactive all winter, start slowly.

Start with weeding, watering, and planting seeds. As you feel yourself getting stronger you can increase your gardening repertoire to include: pruning, heavy digging, hoeing, pushing a loaded wheelbarrow, or mowing the lawn.

I think you get the idea because the list of outdoor gardening exercise ideas is endless! Even carrying plants or a bag of potting soil to the car from the store and then out into the yard is exercise! You can potentially burn up to 300-600 calories per hour depending on your intensity and which gardening exercises you engage in.

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You CAN lose weight by gardening ~ eat less and move more! The following list shows what a typical man weighing 180 pounds will burn in 30 minutes of activity. If you weigh more you can burn even more calories!

Watering lawn/garden~61
Bagging leaves~ 162
Planting seeds/seedlings~ 162
Planting trees~ 182
Weeding ~ 182
Clearing Land ~ 202
Digging, spading, tilling~ 202
Laying Sod~202
General gardening~ 202
Chopping wood~ 243
Gardening with heavy power tools~ 243
Mowing the lawn with a push mower~243
Shoveling snow~ 243
Shoveling heavy snow~ 364 cals

Tips for your success:

Donít over do it~ one or two hours of gardening is plenty, especially when you are beginning!

Donít lift objects that are too heavy for you. If you injure yourself, chances are that you wonít be able to continue to garden for exercise and weight loss.

Stretch before, during and after gardening. Donít stay down on your knees while weeding or planting for extended periods of time~ get up and move!

Get out in your garden and exercise at least 3-4 times a week.

Continue your outdoor exercise routine even after you last blooms have faded. Shoveling the snow, raking leaves, and splitting wood are great calorie burners that will lead to weight loss!

Donít forget the added benefit of growing your own healthy fruits and vegetables and your yard will look beautiful from all of your hard work!

Once you get into the habit of viewing gardening as an excellent way to lose weight and stay in shape, you may never go back to the gym again!

© Candee Stark and Flowers &
This article is provided courtesy of


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