Yardwork takes on new importance during quarantine

Yardwork takes on new importance during quarantine
A half-hour of raking leaves can burn more calories than general weightlifting, according to Harvard Medical School. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Yardwork. For many, that task was a source of angst. Now that coronavirus has people staying home rather than navigating around town, you’re seeing a lot more people outside working on their yard.

“Take this opportunity, especially now that most of the community is staying home, to get out in your backyard or front yard and soak up some of the sun’s rays and to help with exercise,” said Dr. Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner, said during a press conference held Monday, April 6. “Don’t get too involved with the sedentary lifestyle. Go for walks and participate in exercise regularly.”

According to Harvard Health Publishing, those everyday activities really add up! A person who weighs about 125 pounds will burn about 240 calories an hour doing yardwork activities. That includes raking and sacking leaves, and planting seedlings or shrubs.

And no surprise, the more you weigh, the more calories you burn. At 155 pounds, the burn goes up to 298 per hour. And at 185 pounds, it jumps to 356 calories burned.

And once the hard work is done, the leisure time in your yard will also have some benefits.

“During this time, you really have to take time to take care of yourself,” Dr. Clark said when discussing the importance of mental health. “You should go for a walk outside, enjoy the beautiful weather - before you know it, it will be summertime and 100 degrees outside and not very comfortable outside.”

An article published in Psychology Today states that time outside is just as good for your mind as it is for your body, especially time in the garden.

“A growing body of research has found all kinds of benefits from being in natural landscapes,” states the article. “These studies have found evidence that being in green, or even being able to look out on a green landscape, is linked with better recovery from surgery, less anxiety and depression, better stress management, and many other positive effects.”

But if you need a little more motivation, then we’ll give you an opportunity to brag! Send us pictures of your gardening or yardwork efforts.

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