Gardening – The Workout

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Workout in the backyard. Iron dumbbells, sports bottle of water and jump rope on the greenlawn

We talk a lot about how gardening is great for your mental and physical wellbeing, being outdoors in the fresh air is great for everyone. Gardening allows you to destress and relax, but if you’ve found yourself sweating through your gardening hours don’t be alarmed. Gardening is a hugely underrated form of exercise, so we want to tell you what your gardening days are doing for your calorie deficit. We’ve pulled some information from a Harvard Medical School study to show the calories you burn during gardening.

One thing to remember with calorie burning is the higher your BMI the more calories you burn, so the calorie amounts differ from person to person.

An exhausted man lying on the ground collapsed after mowing a huge lawn.

Step Count

When gardening, you’re rarely sat down. Whether you’re moving around your borders or walking back and forth to the garden shed, it all counts towards your steps. On average people try and hit their 10,000 steps a day, it seems like a hard task but watch the steps clock up when you spend the day in your garden. Tasks such as mowing and raking the lawn can burn up to 120-178 calories in just 30 minutes!

Mulching the garden takes time and effort with bags of mulch laid out on the lawn alongside the flowerbed in a long row waiting to be spread with a cart stacked full of bags in the background


At certain times of the year a lot of compost is involved in gardening tasks. As spring approaches, you may find yourself lifting bags of compost from your car, pouring out old compost from pots or moving new pots into your garden from the garden centre. Obviously with this type of strenuous exercise we first advise to make sure you’re lifting properly because you don’t want a bad back. But lifting and moving heavy items is a great calorie burner and great for muscle build. Carrying and moving items such as bags of compost, pots and logs can burn around 150-222 calories every 30 minutes.

Person digging in garden


Digging is an important activity when it comes to gardening. Digging to plant a tree or shrub, or on your hands and knees planting smaller border fillers, containers and raised beds, this is a sure way to ‘feel the burn’ and get the heart rate up. Digging, like lifting, is set to burn between 150-222 calories per half hour. So, don’t be surprised if you break a sweat planting your new apple tree.

Close Up Of Gardening Hand In Glove Pulling Out Weeds Grass From Soil. Work In Garden.


This is a job we may dislike, but we dislike weeds even more. They can be unattractive and compete for moisture and nutrients with your crops, but they just keep popping up. If you’re dreading weeding your garden, think of the positive, half an hour of weeding can burn around 139-205 calories in 30 minutes.

Young couple planting the tree while Watering a tree working in the garden as save world concept, nature, environment and ecology.


Last but not least, the fun part of gardening, planting. The staple activity when people think of gardening. Obviously, there are loads of different things you can plant in your garden so the calorie burn will vary. If you’re planting bulbs, smaller plants or veggies you can burn between 120-178 calories each half hour. Planting trees, shrubs and larger plants that need that extra elbow grease will burn around 135- 200

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So, get into your garden and get moving. We hope this motivates you to garden more for many reasons as well as for fitness purposes. An hour of gardening can burn as much as a 5k run! You may not be looking to lose weight, but gardening is just a great way to keep up your general fitness.


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