Get Fit While You Mow The Lawn!
We all lead such busy lives these days, between work, families, and chores there often aren’t many hours left in the day for other activities, for that reason here at BestofMachinery we are always looking for ways to help you improve your experience of doing everyday activities. Today, we have gathered the most effective ways you can exercise while mowing your lawn; let’s be honest, mowing the lawn is something that has to be done, it is not a terrible chore to do when the sun is shining you can be outdoors making your lawn look nice.
So, if you are going to be outdoors anyway, and the weather is good, you are relaxed and the sun is shining, why not combine this with a little exercise? Building exercise into your daily routine is the recommended way of improving your health. Exercise does not mean rushing out to purchase a gym membership. Exercise is any activity that increases your heart rate; this will improve heart and circulatory function, reducing risks of health complications in later life.
Benefits of a Lawn Mower
One thing we should point out before we get too much further is that when we talk about exercising while mowing the lawn we mean a push mower, using a gas mower you can sit on will not do much for you at all as you will be sitting still the whole time you use it. Using a lawnmower will help with not only physical exercise but also with mental wellbeing; also, the repetition of movement will help to calm your mind. You may find that you move into a zen, almost trance-like state of mind while mowing, which could help you to work through challenges which you have not been able to work through during the busy week.
When using a push mower, you are completing cardiovascular exercise no matter what type of mower you use, however, a gas mower will do more of the work for you than a manual push mower. We, therefore, recommend that you choose a mower with a manual propulsion option as then the effort of mowing the lawn is transferred to you. The additional exertion you will find using a manual mower is what will help your body most.
The repetition of moving back and forth will help to build muscle definition in your biceps and triceps and this exercise will also count toward the 150 minutes of physical activity recommended by healthcare professionals that you should be doing each week to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Mowing the lawn helps you to burn a substantial amount of calories in a short space of time; pushing a mower for 15 minutes is comparable to walking a mile at a brisk pace and pushing a manual propulsion mower is comparable to running rather than walking. Without the need for any exercise machinery or even leaving your own home grounds, you are able to improve your health and fitness levels in a much shorter space of time.
A further way to boost your physical exercise while mowing your lawn would be to spend time, after the grass is cut, raking up the cuttings you have generated; again this will work out your arm muscles in addition to your back and legs, it is another great calorie busting workout too.
In addition to working your arms, mowing your lawn with a manual push mower will work your core muscle group also. Any personal training session will include an element of core strength workout, including any home workout plans you may see online, in fact, several personal training plans include workouts named ‘the lawnmower’ because it is such an effective workout across so many key muscle groups.
Improving the Exercise Effects
There are several ways you can improve the effects of exercising with your push mower, but we recommend that before you begin working out with your push mower that you check with your doctor that your health is good enough to do so:
- Increase the pace of your mowing – on average you will move over 6000 steps per hour while mowing your lawn, but if you move at a brisk pace while pushing the mower this will increase the beats per minute of your heart and improve your cardiovascular health. Although some argue that setting step goals are meaningless, they can be extremely beneficial if you are beginning to exercise from nothing or if you are looking to increase the amount of activity you regularly engage in. An increased pace is an effective way to push your body to do more.
- Avoid the self propel function or a motorized engine – if you use a self-propelling push mower or one with a motorized engine, you remove the additional work you will need to complete the task. A self-propelling mower will give you no more exercise than walking back and forth across your yard. The resistance is key to getting the best possible amount of exercise from this household activity; propelling a push mower against the resistance of grass being cut is an excellent way to increase the muscle strength in your arms and back with all muscle groups being challenged.
- Mow lawns for friends and family – let’s face it, there is only so many times you can mow your lawn per week before your grass will be ruined and the exercise will be doing nothing for you. To combat this, we recommend offering to cut lawns for others, whether this is for friends and family or elderly neighbors. This will give you an increased surface area to mow and therefore, more exercise you will get.
Benefits to Mental Wellbeing
While your body will be busy while you mow your lawn, your mind will be free to complete other activities that would benefit your mental state. You could do something to relax and unwind like listen to music or an audiobook, although to be able to hear over the din of a motorized mower would be impossible, a manual push mower makes far less volume of sound and would, therefore, be more suitable.
Utilizing the time spent pushing a mower to relax mentally while exercising physically gives a more well-rounded benefit to your body and mind, if you are suffering from stress or pressure, whether at work, school or personally, dedicated time spent improving your physical and mental health is beneficial. Listening to audiobooks or music is a great way to clear your mind without focussing on small nature sounds during your exercising.
However, if nature sounds are something that relaxes you, then maybe meditation techniques would be best for you. The repetitive nature of pushing a mower could help you to reach a state of Zen-like state of relaxation, calming your mind and helping you to focus on issues you have been considering and find solutions you have required.
The smell of freshly cut grass is something a high number of people find relaxing, or pleasing, your brain will release endorphins with exercise but also with a smell, or sound, we find pleasing; the best way to find that newly cut grass smell is to cut the lawn yourself.
Instead of exercising indoors at the gym, or through a class session at your local activity center, mowing your lawn gives you the opportunity to exercise outdoors, in the fresh air and allows you to absorb more vitamin D through natural sunlight. All of these aspects are better for you than artificial stimulus or vitamin pills.
In addition to exercising physically, mowing your own lawn will help you save money, twice over. You can save money on a gym membership by introducing exercise into your daily routines and chores, and you can save the money of hiring an independent lawn care company or a firm to do the work for you. You will also probably find that your lawn is healthier due to using a manual propulsion push mower instead of a motorized engine version.
Staying Safe While Mowing Your Lawn
While mowing your lawn is definitely beneficial for your cardiovascular function, you must be vigilant with your safety too. You should always ensure you wear appropriate footwear, especially when using a mower with a motor, the footwear you choose to wear should be supportive of your feet, and have covered toes to ensure your feet aren’t injured.
You should always wear sunscreen while working in your yard, the unrelenting heat without much shade can be damaging, on windy days you may not notice the sun beating down, so sunscreen is a must. Finally, we advise you to keep hydrated, again heat and wind can be deceptive, so ensure that you are drinking enough water while working in your yard, take breaks if need be also.
Mowing the lawn, with a manual propulsion mower, really is a full-body workout; you will be moving in ways you wouldn’t with other household chores. All muscle groups will be worked in addition to improved mental wellbeing, and you don’t even need to set aside additional time from other activities you wish to participate in.
If you have family or other commitments, you won’t need to find extra time in your week to take a trip to the gym or plan in a hike, run or walk to get the same benefits as making changes in your household chores and routine to incorporate exercise. We recommend you look at other aspects of your daily routine that you can add additional exercise into, also the more you exercise, the better for you overall.