Last Updated on May 25, 2023

I’ve always loved gardening as a hobby. I’m indoors a lot, so at the end of the day, I like to be outdoors, and I find gardening extremely therapeutic. Both spiritually, physically and mentally. I also feel like it’s a challenging workout. I can spend hours in the garden and love every second of it, too.

After the post, I shared last week about current fruits in season & the benefits of eating produce in season, I got a lot of replies from ladies, curious about gardening and admitting they love gardening, too. 

I also got questions like “Can gardening replace a workout?” and “How many calories does gardening burn?”

That had me curious so I wanted to research the health and fitness benefits of gardening. 

I took up gardening and absolutely fell in love with it love.  I find it so therapeutic spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  It’s a great stress reliever.

I also feel like it’s a challenging workout. You move your body. You get sweaty. You get sore.

So today I’m breaking down the calorie burn for different gardening activities plus, all of the physical mental and health benefits gardening can give you.

From mowing, to weeding, pruning, and more, I think you’ll be surprised to know just how many calories gardening actually burns and how beneficial it really is.

I also give you an easy tip to get all the benefits of gardening without planting a single thing.  

Let’s dig in!


Calories burned while gardening chart


Calories Burned doing Yard Work


Here’s a chart of different gardening activities, including the muscles worked, and the approximate calories burned per hour for an average adult:



Activity Name Muscles Worked Calories Burned (per hour)
Digging Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core 300-400
Weeding Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core 200-300
Planting Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core 200-300
Pruning Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core 200-300
Raking Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core, Legs 300-400
Mowing the Lawn Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core, Legs 200-400
Trimming Hedges Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core 200-300
Watering Plants Arms, Shoulders 100-200
Lifting Heavy Pots Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core 300-400
Pushing Wheelbarrow Arms, Shoulders, Back, Core 300-400


Please note that the calories burned can vary depending on factors such as body weight, the intensity of the activity, and individual fitness levels. These values are approximate and may not be accurate for everyone.

But regardless, if you spend 3 hours in the garden you can burn a significant number of calories and target a lot of muscles.  But that’s not all…

Gardening has considerable health benefits over and above calorie burn.


A garden sign that says "As I work on the garden, the garden works on me."


Health Benefits of Gardening


Gardening offers numerous health benefits beyond just being an enjoyable hobby. Here are some health benefits associated with gardening:

  1. Physical Exercise: Gardening is a physical activity that involves various movements such as digging, bending, lifting, and stretching. These actions can provide a low-impact workout for the muscles, joints, and cardiovascular system, promoting strength, flexibility, and endurance.
  2. Stress Reduction: Engaging in gardening can help reduce stress and improve mental well-being. Spending time outdoors, connecting with nature, and focusing on gardening tasks can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and improve overall mood.
  3. Vitamin D Absorption: Spending time in the sun while gardening allows the body to absorb vitamin D from sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones, supporting the immune system, and regulating mood.
  4. Mood Enhancement: Gardening has been linked to increased happiness and positive mental health. It can provide a sense of achievement, purpose, and fulfillment as you nurture plants and witness their growth and blossoming.
  5. Cognitive Stimulation: Gardening involves planning, problem-solving, and decision-making, which can stimulate the brain and enhance cognitive function. It also provides sensory stimulation through the smells, textures, and colors of plants and flowers.
  6. Stress Relief: Engaging in gardening activities can serve as a form of relaxation and escape from daily stressors. Being in nature and engaging with plants and soil can have a calming effect and help reduce stress levels.
  7. Improved Nutrition: Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs in a garden can encourage a healthier diet. Consuming fresh, homegrown produce is generally more nutritious and can provide a greater variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  8. Immune System Boost: Gardening exposes you to beneficial bacteria in the soil, which can help strengthen your immune system. Additionally, being outdoors and engaging with nature may have a positive impact on overall immune function.
  9. Social Interaction: Gardening can be a social activity, whether you’re gardening with family and friends or joining a community garden. Interacting with others who share a common interest can provide a sense of belonging and social support.
  10. Increased Quality of Life: Gardening has been associated with an improved quality of life, particularly for older adults. It can contribute to a sense of purpose, provide a fulfilling leisure activity, and promote overall well-being.


garden vegetables


Remember to take appropriate precautions while gardening, such as staying hydrated, using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and practicing proper lifting techniques to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

If you’re growing your own food it’s best to plant and harvest in season to ensure the most nutrients & benefits from your produce.




If you can’t garden I highly recommend visiting a U-pick Farm to pick and purchase your produce.

U-pick farms are great for lots of reasons.

  1. Physical Exercise: Walking is a form of low-impact aerobic exercise that can help improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and increase endurance. Walking around a U-pick farm provides an opportunity to engage in moderate physical activity, especially if the farm is large and requires walking between different crop areas.
  2. Fresh Air and Sunshine: Being outdoors in a U-pick farm exposes you to fresh air and natural sunlight. Spending time outside can improve mood, increase vitamin D synthesis, boost immune function, and provide a sense of well-being.
  3. Increased Steps and Calorie Burn: Walking around a U-pick farm involves continuous movement, which increases the number of steps you take throughout the day. This additional physical activity contributes to burning calories, supporting weight management, and improving overall fitness.
  4. Nutrient-Rich Produce: U-pick farms typically offer a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs for you to choose and harvest yourself. These farm-fresh produce items are often rich in essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. Including them in your diet can enhance nutrition, support overall health, and reduce the consumption of processed foods.
  5. Mindful Eating: When you pick your own produce at a U-pick farm, you have the opportunity to connect with your food on a deeper level. This experience encourages mindfulness in food choices and can lead to a greater appreciation for fresh, wholesome ingredients. It also provides a better understanding of where your food comes from and promotes a closer connection to nature.
  6. Variety and Seasonality: U-pick farms typically offer a variety of seasonal produce options. Eating a diverse range of fruits and vegetables allows you to benefit from a wider array of nutrients, flavors, and textures. Consuming locally grown, seasonal produce can also support sustainable agricultural practices and reduce the environmental impact associated with long-distance food transportation.
  7. Family-Friendly Activity: U-pick farms often provide a family-friendly environment. Walking around the farm and engaging in the picking process with your loved ones can strengthen family bonds, promote healthy habits, and create lasting memories. It’s an opportunity to teach children about food sources, agriculture, and the importance of a balanced diet.


My parent used to take me to U-pick farms and I loved it!

I hope this post helped inspire you to garden or get your produce from a U-pick farm so you can get lots of health benefits as you burn calories.

Do you garden?  Let me know in the comments.


Your Coach and Biggest Cheerleader,


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Calories Burned While Gardening