Yard Work: Raking In the Benefits


Yard work is often considered manual labor. In the past, yard work involved picking up the rake and piling up the leaves. In our technologically driven world, this activity can now be done quickly. Just buy a leaf blower, plug it in, and blow off all those leaves.

Doing yard work has many health benefits, which means you can save money on costly gym memberships. Brad Cardinal, co-director of Oregon State University (OSU) Sport and Exercise Psychology Program, shared, “Making physical activity a way of life is more cost-effective than an expensive gym membership. You may be more likely to stick with it…you’ll be healthier and just feel better.”

Here are some ways that doing yard work can provide health benefits:

Improved Cardiovascular Health

When you regularly do yard work, you give yourself that much-needed cardiovascular exercise. You burn calories if you pull weeds, mow the lawn, and sweep the patio. All these activities improve your cardiovascular health by increasing oxygen flow to the heart, reducing blood pressure, and helping arterial flow.

Full-Body Workout

Aside from improving your cardiac health, yard work can also serve as your full-body workout. When you rake the leaves for 30 minutes, you burn about 175 calories. It also helps work your core, shoulders, and legs. Weeding and pruning are enough to get your upper and lower body moving. If you chop wood, you burn an additional 500 calories per hour.

Enhanced Flexibility

Apart from building your muscles and keeping your heart healthy, doing yard work also improves your flexibility. Since there is no set plan of your movements, your muscles and joints move in all directions, which helps lessen the incidence of inflammation, muscle pain, and cold muscles due to a sedentary lifestyle.

Get Vitamin D

When you do yard work, you allow your body to absorb Vitamin D from the sun. Of course, this applies to when you do yard work during peak sunshine hours. Even during late afternoon, you still reap the benefits of being one with nature; it can do wonders with your mental health. Several studies have already proven that spending at least 30 minutes to one hour a day with nature can improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, and help people recover from depression. Just remember to use sunscreen or to cover up while you’re out under the sun.

Slows Down Aging Process

When you sweat from doing yard work, it helps your body release toxins that can affect your overall health. It is not uncommon to find someone who regularly does yard work to look twenty years younger than their real age. This is because of the regular physical activity that helps their body fight off diseases.

Emotionally Rewarding

When you work in your yard and see all your plants and flowers, you get a sense of satisfaction. It helps boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. When you feel these, you become emotionally healthy, and this can reflect in your overall health.

Remember, however, to practice yard work safety at all times. All these health benefits will be for naught if you encounter any accidents or untoward incidents while gardening. If you must use any tools or equipment, make sure you know how to operate them properly. Read the instruction manual if you must. Also, don’t forget to listen to your body. When your back is aching, it might be good to call it a day and rest up. You may even want to reward yourself with a good hour of massage at your local spa. Or you might even want to pop a bottle to celebrate your small win for the day.







@lorelyn @brynel_maries updated


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