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Work Out with Yard Work

Paige Halsted, Dietetic Intern,* Concordia College

The weather is beginning to change and soon the leaves will start to fall. Fall is the perfect time to get outdoors with your family, enjoy the beautiful weather, and be active. You don’t have to plan any big weekend trips or special events. You can be active outdoors by simply doing yard work and getting your children involved as well.

Try these fun outdoor activities for fall:
•Go pumpkin picking
•Visit an apple orchard
•Go fishing or camping
•Have a grill out or a bonfire
•Go for a bike ride, walk, or hike
•Play a game of two hand touch football
•Visit your local farmer’s market
•Have a family picnic

Raking is a necessary task in the fall but you can make it less of a chore by getting the entire family involved. The only equipment you need is a rake and you can purchase child size rakes if you want to get your little ones involved.

You and your family can rake large piles of leaves and take turns jumping in the piles before you start to bag them up. You can make it into a competition and see who can rake the largest pile of leaves. Yard work will get the whole family involved and everybody will get a lot of physical activity.

Raking and bagging leaves can burn 350 to 450 calories per hour. While you are raking you do a lot of bending, twisting, and lifting which requires the use of several muscle groups. These motions will help you build strength and engage many muscle fibers that you may not use in your usual daily activities.

Thirty minutes of raking, picking up leaves, and transporting them into bags will fit into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommended amount of daily exercise for adults: 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. After a day of hard work in the yard you can treat the family to healthy snacks and a movie night!


*Paige is doing a dietetic internship at the NDSU Extension Service.

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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