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Can Gardening Really Help You Burn Calories?

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As a popular UK pastime, you could be forgiven for thinking gardening is nothing more than a hobby – or just something to do when the weather gets warmer. But if you are lucky enough to have a garden to tend or even an allotment to work on, gardening is more beneficial than first meets the eye.

You are probably thinking “is gardening exercise?” and “does gardening help you lose weight?”. The fact is, yes, gardening is exercise and really can help you burn calories!

Although not the most intensive type of workout possible, gardening can still be highly beneficial, especially for some demographics and people returning from injury. And although gardening is not the only solution to weight loss, it can play a key role in helping you shed the pounds while enjoying the benefits of the outdoors.

There are many advantages to gardening besides weight loss. Aside from getting you outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine, gardening works all your major muscle groups. This gives you a vigorous exercise that will keep you fit and benefit your overall health. It burns calories and helps you lose weight when done in conjunction with a healthy diet.

Gardening is not only a great pursuit for your physical health. Spending time outdoors and exercising also has a positive impact on mental health. According to Public Health England (2017), just 10 minutes of exertion per day can lead to noticeable physical and mental health improvements. Approximately 300 calories per hour can be burned gardening, which is great if you want to lose weight (CDC, 2015). But there are many other advantages to be aware of.


What Are The Health Benefits Of Gardening?

Gardening has numerous physical and mental health benefits, especially if you do it regularly. Getting outdoors in the fresh air and undertaking light to moderate exercise is beneficial no matter what your age group or ability. The benefits apply for all sizes of garden, although larger gardens will inevitably involve greater exertion.

There is also a cost factor to consider as well. Subscriptions to gyms and fitness centres can be expensive and often tie you in for at least 12 months. Gardening is relatively inexpensive in comparison. All you need to start is a few tools and plants. And you can easily expand your equipment as your interest grows.


Physical benefits





Mental health benefits




Different Jobs You Can Do In The Garden And The Amount Of Calories You Can Burn

Gardening can be as relaxing or as energetic as you like. Whether you engage in low-intensity gardening or heavy yard work, you can still burn calories and gain many physical and mental health benefits.






In this article, we have taken a look at how gardening can help you burn calories and improve your overall wellbeing. If you want to get outdoors and participate in moderate-intensity exercise, gardening fits the bill perfectly while providing a wide range of physical and mental health benefits.

It is clear from numerous studies that gardening helps to burn calories. For example, you can burn around 300 calories per hour when digging soil. If you prefer lightweight work like weeding, you can burn 200 to 400 calories an hour. More intensive work like shovelling snow can burn upwards of 400 calories per hour.

Gardening provides you with a full workout, covering both the upper and lower body. Your arms, shoulders, legs, thighs, back, and more all receive a great workout from tasks like weeding, watering plants, raking soil, shovelling snow, and mowing the lawn. This makes it a great way to exercise without spending money on expensive gym memberships.

Besides the numerous physical health benefits available, gardening also allows you to explore a new hobby and gain the many mental health advantages of spending time outdoors. Focusing on gardening tasks can focus your mind, enabling you to break free from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. It is no wonder then that gardening is a popular pastime for people of all ages and walks of life.




British Journal of Sports Medicine (2019). How does exercise treatment compare with antihypertensive medications? A network meta-analysis of 391 randomised controlled trials assessing exercise and medication effects on systolic blood pressure. At:

CDC (2015). Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight. At:

Harvard Health Publishing (2017). Harvard Medical School. Taking too much vitamin D can cloud its benefits and create health risks. At:

NCBI (2012). Vitamin D and rheumatoid arthritis. At:

NHS (2018). Why 5 A Day?. At:

Public Health England (2017). 10 minutes brisk walking each day in mid-life for health benefits and towards achieving physical activity recommendations. At:

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