Spring Clean and Burn Calories

April 19, 2017

Yes, it’s true. Temperatures are moving upwards and appear to be hovering in a seasonal trend. That’s some good news. But here’s some more good news. Tackling spring chores has added benefits: Burning calories.

Whether you are mowing the lawn, planting shrubs, or pulling weeds, you are burning calories, said Scott Renshaw, a physician with IU Health University Hospital. Here are a few examples:

  • You can burn about 200 calories an hour by: Planting seeds, trees, or shrubs; raking the lawn; or sacking brush.
  • You can burn almost 300 calories an hour by: Carrying & stacking wood; clearing land using a wheelbarrow; digging a sandbox; digging and composting a garden; or laying sod.
  • You can burn more than 300 calories an hour by: Splitting and stacking wood; Gardening with heavy power tools or walking behind a push mower.

Renshaw, who lives on a farm in Danville, has his work cut out for him caring for three chickens, a dog and a peacock that comes to visit daily. He often involves his 3-year-old son in the spring activities.

“We have a 25’ by 50’ garden that we will be planting in the coming days,” says Renshaw. The patch will include rhubarb, asparagus, a variety of berries, and herbs. The family will also plant green beans, squash and his son’s favorite, okra. They plan to eventually add goats to the farm and persimmon and pecan trees to a small orchard.

“The main advice I give people when they’re anxious to get out and start their spring work is to take it slow,” said Renshaw. “Working in the yard and garden uses muscles that a person does not use during winter months. Expect to be a bit sore the first day out.”

-- T.J. Banes

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