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With New Year’s Day rapidly approaching, you might be thinking about the resolutions you plan to make. Getting into shape is a common theme at this time of year, and many people also plan to become more disciplined with regard to chores at home. We have some great news for you: You can “kill two birds with one stone” by combining these goals, because yard work makes a great workout!

Over the past century, our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary. That might seem convenient if you enjoy working in an office, but there is a down side: Overall, our health isn’t so great. Three quarters of American men and 60 percent of women are overweight or obese, and nearly one in three children are headed in that direction as well. Diet is another culprit, of course, but our lack of exercise is cited as one of the major causes of our nation’s declining health.

Luckily for those who aren’t fans of the gym, there are ways to exercise that don’t involve elliptical machines or grueling Crossfit classes. In fact, there is no reason to believe that simply changing your lifestyle and becoming more active overall won’t have a major impact upon your health. Just look at how people lived 100 years ago; gym memberships didn’t exist in that time!

You might not live on a farm, but doing your own yard work will provide a terrific opportunity for natural exercise. Weeding and planting a garden, especially at a moderate or brisk pace, will provide aerobic exercise along with stretching. Trade in your riding mower for a push model, and you can burn hundreds of calories per hour. Even pruning your shrubbery, with a sturdy pair of pruning shears will tone your arms and shoulders more than you would think!

Of course, if you enjoy the convenience of modern technology, you don’t have to abandon it entirely. Wear your Fitbit or step counter while performing yard work, and you’ll see what we mean. Yard work can burn 330 to 440 calories per hour, for a 150-pound person working at a moderate pace.

Of course, we’re still here to help you with larger projects. Give us a call to discuss your design ideas, and we’ll help you install the landscaping of your dreams. You’ll enjoy maintaining it that much more!