Yard work is the definition of “functional exercise.” Outside of saving money and keeping things looking nice, there are a lot of physical (and mental) benefits of working on outdoor projects. Studies prove that all movement counts toward weekly goals, so get some bang for your buck here!
A Variety of Actions: Weeding the garden, raking leaves, and pushing wheel barrows collectively will hit every single muscle group of your body. Outdoor yard work gets combinations of squats, lunges, pulls, pushes, and rotations. The best part of all of this comprehensive action is that is task driven, and therefore subconscious. Instead of thinking about squeezing abs and glutes, we’ll typically just act. Subconscious activity is the best for connecting chain reactions of the muscle groups. You want everything working together for maximum benefit!
Movement Over Time: Human beings are designed for consistent, steady motion. Today’s world dictates we have strategies to maximize short windows of time to squeeze in exercise routines. Yet, working outdoors on different tasks is a wonderful way to allow freedom of movement for however long it takes to complete the task. You may not feel the “deep burn” of a group workout class, but you will feel a comprehensive fatigue after a few hours of working outdoors. Give yourself chunks of time or an “afternoon” to work on projects. It’s valuable endurance work.
Outdoors: Hectic work and life schedules make it difficult to get quality outdoor time. Being in nature naturally reduces stress and uplifts the spirit. Breath in fresh air and get a little bit of natural vitamin D. Enjoy the changing seasons and the variety of projects you can choose from. Sure, get some help for the difficult stuff, but don’t miss out on simple ways to maximize time outside. Get your hands dirty and get fit!