Thanksgiving break is finally here! And I’m sure you’re looking forward to a little R & R, but this is also the perfect time to get some of those chores you’ve been putting off done!
I know that with the cooler weather comes that sluggish, hunkering-down feeling that comes with the start of fall is starting to kick in. It’s not surprising that chilly weather makes us want to bundle up, hibernate and drink hot cocoa (with mini marshmallows on top, of course).
But, while exercise often gets pushed to the back burner right now, autumn truly is a time when the opportunity to shape up just presents itself. No, we’re not talking about renewing that gym card that’s been sitting on your counter since spring. We’re talking about yardwork that needs to be done!
Doing yardwork is an excellent way to exercise. Plus, it comes with the added benefit of a better-looking lawn, garden and landscaping (and a healthy mood boost, to boot!). So grab a jacket and some gloves and get moving with these five outdoor workout ideas:
Autumn workout ideas
1. Mow your lawn
Although it’s more convenient to use a self-propelled mower, a push mower can provide a great workout, helping you to burn 400 calories per hour (simply by pushing it around your yard!). Try to avoid letting the mower do all the work. Focus on using your calf muscles and upping your lap pace so you get a cardio blast as you trim the grass.
*Bonus workout: Try lunging between steps. Lunges are great for thighs, glutes and core muscles. You’ll also burn additional calories if you throw in some lunges while mowing.
2. Trim bushes and hedges
Gas and electric trimmers make it relatively easy to keep hedges and topiaries manicured. For a better workout, drop the power tools, grab a set of manual trimmers and harness your inner barber. Trimming greens is a great way to stimulate forearm and shoulder muscles and burn up to 230 calories per hour.
3. Weed garden beds and pathways
You’ll burn around 130 calories every half hour by digging, hoeing, weeding, planting and watering. Not only will you tone your body with the variety of movements you’re doing, but maybe, just maybe, your thumb will get a little greener as well. Remember to stay hydrated while you work.
4. Rake leaves
Raking is a bit of a slow-burn cardio exercise, but it lets you torch up to 300 calories per hour (and it’s a good shoulder workout!). Depending on how windy it is, and how many leaves you have to chase down, you can even more calories. Be sure to switch sides, raking toward both the left and right sides of your body, to keep muscle stimulation balanced.
*Bonus workout: Use a wheelbarrow to turn this into a weight-lifting workout. Hoist full bags of leaves and piles of refuse into the wheelbarrow and push it where you need it to go. Add in some lunges and you’ll triple stack the calorie-burning effect!
5. Chop firewood
Get ready for some cozy backyard fires this fall by chopping up kindling. This exercise/chore gets your whole back and body into it, burning up to 250 calories every half hour and tightening core, arm, back and leg muscles.