Summer’s gone, but the beauty of autumn is that all the winter preparation work we do can help us burn calories and get active. Why not accomplish two positives with every step, swing of the rake and bag of leaves hauled to the curb?
We talked with Debbie Lancto, a health and wellness champion with Avera. She reminds us all that any activity beats none – and that we can do this! She’s a great motivator and offered these tips. She said you can add walking to many activities – a good example is calling your mom or dad and walking around the house as you do so – and burn good calories, just like going to the gym.
Here are some additional work-as-workout items you can do, Lancto said:
New season, new look: If you spend 20 minutes or more rearranging your living room or bedroom, you’ll burn 100 calories. Be careful with heavy items and make it count!
Reinventing fall: We all do a “spring cleaning” but why not make it twice a year? Spend a full hour vacuuming your home and you’ll burn another 100 calories.
Big yard, big rewards: If you have a lot of leaves to rake – remember, it’s a win for your health! Raking and bagging burns about 350-450 calories an hour.
Final landscaping for season: When you put the last touches before the snow on your big yard projects where you’re moving rocks, digging and hauling dirt, you can burn between 400-600 calories every hour you’re doing it – great workout possibilities and it’ll look amazing in the spring!
Putting your garden to bed: It’s time to clear dying vines and add that soil-trapping mulch to the garden plot, and to thank it for giving you so many tomatoes. But you’ll also burn about 350 calories with every hour you work on getting your garden ready for the season’s change.
All of these activities help us to keep moving, use our muscles, stretch and stay limber, and they all will help our yards and homes look better as we head into autumn, too. When you can, find manual approaches – like switching out your electric hedge shears for a set you can use with your hands.
While you get your work done and your workout in, all at once, make sure to take breaks, stay hydrated – which can be easy to forget when it’s not so hot – and to use your legs and bend your knees when lifting. You don’t want this good-for-you work to lead to a strain or an injury.
Remember the old saying, “elbow grease gets things clean” and it helps you add a bit of fitness to you day as well. Have a happy fall cleanup session and stay active.