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Can Gardening Help You Burn Calories?

Published Oct 4, 2023

As if you needed another excuse to keep your green thumb busy; there’s yet another benefit to playing in the dirt — gardening burns calories. Yup, you read that right. Not only is tending to your little green space a zen pursuit, but it turns out gardening can have some major physical benefits too. You just have to know the right moves. And although it might not be the most intensive exercise, it can still be very beneficial, especially for people who wouldn’t (or can’t) ordinarily work out.

Whip out your garden gloves and dig in to discover how many calories trimming, weeding, and shoveling can make you burn. It’s time to shed a few pounds for your health’s pleasure.

Keep reading to learn all about:

  • Why gardening is great for burning calories;
  • The estimated number of calories you burn with different gardening tasks;
  • Ways to stay safe as you garden;
  • Gardyn, your answer to simpler, hassle-free gardening.

Get Fit And Fabulous With Some Gardening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise weekly. Gardening is a great way to do that without having to hit the gym. In fact, it’s even better — it’s completely free, and you don’t need to be very fit or own expensive equipment to start.

Meeting that weekly exercise goal can have a number of health benefits: It can help with weight loss, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, and even help with depression. Plus, it improves flexibility, reduces stress, and improves sleep. Not bad for something you can do in your backyard or on your balcony!

And the best part? It’s an enjoyable physical activity, one you wouldn’t mind getting out of bed for. And no, this isn’t just us talking — it’s simple biology. Spending time outdoors releases endorphins aka feel-good hormones, which can help energize you and make you feel happy. And let’s be real: you’re likely to find your homegrown veggie patch far more appealing than a sweaty workout at the gym.

How Many Calories Does Gardening Burn?

Research suggests that an hour of gardening can burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories, depending on how vigorous the activity is. Plus, if you’re lifting dirt, logging, carrying bags of mulch, or pushing a wheelbarrow, you’ll get a good workout and might burn even more.

Here are the estimated calories burned gardening per hour for a 180 lb individual:

Gardening activity Calories per hour
Watering your lawn or garden 130
Potting or transplanting seedlings and plants 170
Thinning, weeding, or general yard work 300
Raking and bagging leaves 300
Mowing your lawn 300
Picking fruit/vegetables 300
Using a wheelbarrow or garden cart 470
Tilling your garden 500
Shoveling snow 550
Hauling branches, rocks, and dirt 550

As you garden, you’re working your arms, shoulders, legs, thighs, back — pretty much a whole-body fitness routine. How much you burn, however, will depend on your weight and how intensive your gardening activities are. In other words, get out there and put a little muscle into it! The more time or energy you spend gardening, the more calories you burn.

Play It Smart In The Dirt

Gardening is a great way to burn calories and get outside — just make sure to stay safe while getting your hands dirty. Here are some gardening safety tips that will help you avoid any unwanted trips to the doctor.

Start slowly

Talk to your doctor before starting. If you aren’t in ideal shape, ease into it and build up your endurance by gardening for 60 minutes each week. Start with easier chores and gradually move on to more challenging tasks every day.

Warm up

Before you begin, take a few minutes to walk around your garden and do some stretching. Focus especially on your back.

Use the right lifting technique

Be mindful while lifting and carrying heavy objects: Lift with your legs, not your back. Seek help if the object is too heavy for you. Alternate hands when carrying heavy items like soil and branches.

Avoid repetitive motions

To prevent fatigue, muscle strains, and overuse injuries, take regular breaks from repetitive movements. For example, stand after every 15 minutes of kneeling for weeding or pruning, and lower your arms after extended periods of overhead work.

Wear protective clothing

Wear sturdy shoes with good grips and thick, full-length pants. Sun-protective clothing and/or accessories like sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats can help reduce the risk of sunburns and heat exhaustion.

Drink plenty of fluids

Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and other heat-related illnesses. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you and drink it often.

Take breaks as needed

Rest, stretch, and/or take a snack break when you start to feel tired or sore. This will help prevent your muscles from cramping and getting sore.

With the Gardyn Home Kit, you no longer have to worry about any of these risks. With patented Hybriponics™ technology, ours is the perfect solution for a hassle-free and intelligent home gardening experience. Not only do you get a gorgeous, space-saving indoor garden — but you can set it up in just minutes. Our easy-to-use, tangle-free plant pods (we call them yPods) are designed from the ground up to be plug-and-play, while AI-assistance takes the guesswork out of gardening, optimizing your Gardyn’s environment conditions and putting them on autopilot.

Get started with Gardyn today.

Don’t Just Grow Your Garden, Grow Your Health Too!

A green thumb and a leaner body? It sounds too delicious to be true, but it’s no myth! Gardening is an excellent, albeit underrated, calorie-burning pastime. It’s not just gentle weeding, either — throw in an intense session of mulching, mowing, and more, and you’re halving your BMI in no time. Just make sure you don’t overdo it: Listen to your body, take regular breaks, and stay hydrated.

A Gardyn Home Kit is a great way to keep active if you don’t have the capacity or inclination for traditional intensive gardening tasks. Everything from hauling and filling containers (which you’ll have to do from time to time) to setting up columns and lights — you’ll get to stretch, squat and move around, activities which in turn help you lose weight, build strength, and keep the heart and lungs healthy. Plus, you’ll have access to these other features:

  • Grow up to 30 large plants indoors, with just 2 square feet of space, year-round;
  • Maintenance-free — no soil, weeding, or mess to clean;
  • With Hybriponics™ technology, you get much more bountiful harvests than with traditional methods (up to 10 lbs each month);
  • Gardyn’s AI assistant, Kelby, provides clear, helpful instructions throughout the growing process, while automatically optimizing plant growth and alerting you of potential issues;
  • Plant over 100+ varieties of greens, herbs, fruits, veggies, and microgreens — pesticide-free and far more tasty than store-bought produce.

With Gardyn, you can enjoy fresher, tastier meals in a matter of weeks. Learn more about this easier approach to gardening. Or shop and start growing your own today.

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