Garden work is a pleasure for some and a burden for others, but outdoor chores such as mowing the lawn burn calories and build fitness. You work out harder with a manual mower but mowing the lawn with any type of machine is physical activity.
Motion and Resistance
You benefit from both aerobic exercise and resistance exercise while mowing the lawn. Aerobic exercise makes your heart and lungs work harder and works out your entire body as you move. Resistance exercise involves you working against gravity. Mowing combines the two types of exercise when you operate a manual push mower. You walk continuously, and push the mower against the resistance of the grass and any slopes in your garden, reports the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Fatburn.com you burn 153 calories when you mow the lawn for 20 minutes using a manual reel-type push mower, and you weigh 160 lbs. One hour of mowing burns 458 calories. Mowing with a self-propelled gas or electric power mower uses fewer calories. You burn 115 calories in 20 minutes and 244 calories in one hour. Mowing on a sit-on power mower only burns 191 calories for a full hour of activity.
In order to get the full benefits of the 150 minutes a week of physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you might have to mow your neighbors' lawns as well as your own. Alternative gardening work such as pruning shrubs or raking leaves also burns calories and keeps you moving while the grass grows back.