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It’s time to work out… in the garden

If, like me, the gym is more of a necessity than a joy, this fact should make your day: one hour of gardening can burn  approximately 250 calories. Hello Mr Spade!

While I don’t know how this relates to an hour on the treadmill, I do know that doing  ‘a spot of gardening’ is not as easy as it sounds – an hour of weeding or leaf clearing is guaranteed to have me drawing a Radox back like a pensioner, while it’s often touch and go whether my big toe will live to tell the tale when I get the mower out.


But, in comparison to being on a treadmill, gardening means being outdoors, having the sun on your face and listening to the birds singing (or Radio 2 if that’s your preference).

It’s National Gardening Week until 17 April, and also the perfect month for planting bulbs, so why not do an extra hour and burn some calories too? Nutritionist at Nutracheck Emma Brown suggests turning your gardening sessions into reasonable intensity workouts.

“Try to keep rests to an ‘as-required’ minimum and leave your green garden waste bin at the other end of the garden so that you have to shuttle back and forth with armfuls of greenery,” she says.

 “Mowing the lawn for 30 minutes can burn around 175 calories [Editor’s note: Even with a Flymo, Emma?]. And if your lawn mower doesn’t collect the cuttings, that’s good news as raking up grass burns around 125 calories for half an hour. Every little helps.

“Digging is a really great cardio activity too – just 30 minutes can burn around 300 calories. It will be more if you have heavy clay soil or hard ground. Keep going at a steady pace without a break for maximum calorie burn.

You too could look like this lady

You too could look like this lady…

“You can also ditch the weed killer and do it yourself. It’s cheaper, produces no chemicals and burns around 80 calories per hour.


“And finally, reduce potential suffering and muscle stiffness the next day by having a hot bath or shower once you’ve finished for circulation and muscle flushing.”

So there you have it, a couple of hours of digging, weeding and mowing can burn 600 calories – and it’s OK to have a Radox bath!


Time to cancel that gym membership…


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Norfolk