As summer rolls around, you might find yourself feeling like you have to mow the lawn all the time and being surprised that you feel pretty tired afterward. Does this mean you’re unfit? Not at all.
Actually, mowing your lawn is a pretty good workout, and you might be glad to hear that, yes, you can lose weight by mowing the lawn. Pushing a lawnmower around works lots of muscles in your body and is actually a great full-body workout.
How much weight you can lose by mowing the lawn depends on lots of factors. Think realistically about how often you are mowing the lawn, the size of your lawn and how long it takes to cut it, and probably the type of lawnmower you are using, too.
However, no matter how you are mowing the lawn, you are burning calories, contributing to weight loss. A tidy garden and the potential to raise your heart rate and shed a few pounds if you want to is a win-win, right?
How Many Calories Can You Burn By Mowing The Lawn?
To know how much weight you could lose by moving the lawn, you must consider how big your lawn is and how long it’s taking you to mow it.
Your body weight dictates how many calories you burn, which can also shape how likely you will lose weight from mowing the lawn. To demonstrate the difference in calories burnt for different body masses, we will look at how many calories are burnt by mowing the lawn for someone weighing 125lbs (57kg) and someone else weighing 185lbs (84kg).
If they were to mow the lawn for half an hour using a powered lawn mower, the person weighing 125lbs would burn 135 calories. To put that into perspective, that’s about the same as one portion or a bag of chips.
However, the person weighing 185lbs also mowing the lawn for half an hour, using the same powered lawnmower, would burn around 200 calories. That’s about the same as a chocolate bar.
Not bad, for half an hour of gardening.
However, this changes again if you are using a hand mower. If you have one of these, you’ll know that it takes a little more effort to mow the lawn, which is reflected in the calories burnt.
If a person weighing 125lbs used a hand mower for 30 minutes, they would burn an estimated 165 calories.
The 185lbs person would burn around 244 calories if they were to do the same.
Here, then, you can see that the calories burnt when mowing the lawn can vary massively depending on you and the lawnmower in question.
How Do These Calories Burnt Mean You’re Losing Weight?
So, we’re established that mowing the lawn means you’re burning more calories than if you were to just sit around in the garden. But how does this translate to weight loss?
Suppose all other factors in your life remain the same (such as your diet, general activity levels, sleep quality). In that case, adding some gardening to your week can help you lose an extra pound a week, according to scientists at Loughborough University.
If you’re consuming around the recommended calories for your gender (2500 for men, 2000 for women), then burning around 400 calories per hour is likely enough to put you in a calorie deficit. Being in a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight, so an exercise like mowing the lawn is a great start to being more active.
However, if you’re looking to gain weight, you might want to refrain from mowing the lawn for hours. If this is the case, or you just want to maintain your weight, the calories you have burnt while mowing the lawn could be made up with an extra snack or a larger portion at dinnertime.
What Muscles Do You Use When Mowing The Lawn?
Perhaps you’re not too worried about losing weight, but you like the idea that mowing the lawn keeps you active. As you can probably feel after pushing a heavy lawnmower around your yard, lowing your lawn activates muscles all over your body, and it could leave you feeling a bit achy and sore the next day.
Pushing The Lawnmower
Lawn mowing is the equivalent of people sled-pushing in the gym, which is a full-body exercise. When pushing the lawnmower, you are using your chest muscles, known as the pectoralis major and minor.
Your arms assist them, specifically your triceps, which are on the lower part of the upper arm. Your shoulders, or deltoids, function as a back-up for your other muscles and can help you push the mower, should you need it.
Your lower body gets a workout while mowing the lawn, too. Your gluteals (or muscles in your buttocks) help power you forward. If you’re looking to make mowing the lawn even more of a workout, you can bend your knees further to keep this tension in your legs as you push. You’ll really feel the burn after a few minutes of this!
Pulling The Lawnmower
When pulling the lawnmower around, you’re making use of your back muscles or latissimus dorsi. In your legs, you might be able to feel your quad muscles, rather than your glutes, when pulling the lawnmower.
All in all, mowing the lawn is an excellent workout, so it’s a chore you can feel super satisfied when completing.
If you have any injuries, then be cautious when mowing the lawn. Lawnmowers are pretty heavy machinery, and you don’t want to cause yourself any further harm.
If you’re looking to lose weight, mowing the lawn will undoubtedly add to the calories you’re burning each week. Other gardening chores such as raking, planting, and watering can be added to burn even more and speed up the rate at which you are losing weight if you want to.
If you’re not looking to lose weight, then be sure to make up the calories burnt when mowing the lawn.