With cooler weather, falling leaves, and produce to harvest, autumn is the perfect season to spend extra time out in the yard. While you’re doing all that fall yard work, why not squeeze in a workout too? Digging dirt and pulling weeds is already a workout in itself, but you can take those activities a step further with these simple moves.
Lawn Mower Lunge
Pushing a lawn mower back and forth across the lawn is definitely hard exercise, but adding lunges while you push takes your workout to the next level. As you push your mower, step one foot forward and bend your knees. Then lift the heel of your back foot as you lower your body into a lunge position. Repeat with the opposite foot forward, and continue as you mow in a line. This works your legs, glutes, and core.
Whether it’s a bag full of new mulch or old leaves, there’s always something heavy to lug when you’re doing fall yard work. Put those bags to work as strength-building weights. Lift and carry them across the yard and back a few times, making sure to lift with your knees and not your back. Pushing or pulling weight around in reps can also be a great yard workout. Push a loaded wheelbarrow back and forth across the length of your yard a few times, and you can also throw in some lunges (see above) to make it more challenging.
Raking leaves uses muscles in your arms and back, which makes it a great upper body workout. But it can be a little unbalanced unless you pay attention to how you’re raking. Give both your arms and shoulders an even workout by starting with the rake out in front of your body. Take turns moving the rake towards the left and right sides of your body as you work.
Now that you’ve got a great big pile of leaves, there’s only one thing left to do: jump in it! Jumping in a leaf pile isn’t exactly work, but it’s a big part of what makes fall yard work fun (so you definitely can’t skip it!). Instead, take the opportunity to turn it into a workout by adding squats between jumps. With your hands on your hips, step onto the leaf pile and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees into a squat, keeping your back straight and your knees aligned with your toes. From your squat position, leap up in the air. As you land back down, flow into a squat again. Repeat this ten times. Your core, legs, and glutes will all be worked as you play.
Adding special moves makes a workout in your backyard even more effective. You can, however, still get plenty of exercise just doing the basic chores you already do like pulling weeds, digging a planting bed, and climbing a ladder to clean the gutters. The best part is yard work makes for a great fall outdoor activity for the whole family. Everyone gets some exercise together while you get to connect with nature and care for your garden.
Do you have any great yard work exercises you like to do? Share pics of your favorite moves on Twitter.
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.