• Count the minutes

Break up your gardening sessions into shorter bursts of moderate activity throughout the day. Although each short activity has minimal health benefits, so long as the sessions total 30-60 minutes, your health will profit. For example, you might weed for 10 minutes in the morning, push a mower for 10 minutes in the afternoon and turn compost for 10 minutes in the evening.

  • Vary your activity

Work at a steady, constant speed but be sure to change positions every 10 minutes to avoid overusing a particular muscle group. Keep activities varied to include mowing, raking, weeding, pruning and digging. If you start by bending to pull weeds, stand to prune the hedges next. Also alternate which side you use by changing between left and right-handed activities.

  • Go manual

To reap maximum benefit from your gardening sessions, use as little electrical machinery and power tools as possible. Stick to manual clippers, trimmers and lawn-mowers. There is nothing more aggravating than a shrill lawnmower to ruin a peaceful sunny day. Manual tools will get your heart pumping and cut the noise, allowing you to enjoy the tranquillity of your garden.

  • Make a compost pile

If you’ve been thinking about starting a compost pile, now there’s another reason to make use of your garden waste. Turning compost burns 250-300 calories per half-hour.

  • Dig holes

Digging and shovelling are big calorie burners (250-350 per half-hour). Each depends on the leg, back, stomach, arm and shoulder muscles. Grow your own vegetable patch, build a rock garden or create space for a pond that will furnish you with more digging duties.


watering the lawn/garden 61

raking 162

bagging leaves 162

planting seeds/trees 162-182

weeding 182

clearing land 202

digging, spading, tilling 202

laying compost 202

chopping wood 243

trimming shrubs (power) 142

gardening with heavy power tools 243

mowing lawn with a push mower 243

shovelling snow 243-364