Does push mowing burn more calories than walking?

Push mowing and walking are both great forms of exercise that can help you burn calories and get fit. But which burns more calories – push mowing or walking? There are a few key factors that determine calorie burn including the intensity, duration, and your weight. Generally speaking, push mowing often burns more calories per hour than walking at a moderate pace. However, the exact calorie burn depends on the specifics.

Calories Burned Push Mowing vs Walking

According to studies, here are estimates for calories burned per hour with push mowing vs walking:

  • Push mowing (general estimate): 300-500 calories/hour
  • Brisk walking: 200-300 calories/hour

As you can see, the calorie burn range for push mowing is higher than for brisk walking. Push mowing is considered a vigorous activity, similar in intensity to jogging or swimming laps. The act of continuously pushing the mower works the upper and lower body at once. This leads to more calories being burned in a shorter time compared to moderate pace walking.

However, the exact calorie burn varies based on several factors:

Factors Affecting Calorie Burn

  • Intensity – Push mowing at maximum speed and effort burns more calories than leisurely mowing.
  • Terrain – Mowing up hills or sloped lawns burns more calories than mowing flat terrain.
  • Weight – Heavier individuals burn more calories doing the same activity than lighter people.
  • Efficiency – More efficient mowing movement leads to less energy expended.
  • Pace of walking – Brisk walking upwards of 4 mph burns more calories than a casual stroll.

So while push mowing generally tops walking for calorie burn potential per hour, the exact numbers can vary quite a bit.

Calorie Burn Calculator

To compare calories burned with push mowing vs. walking for your specific stats, you can use this calorie burn calculator:

Activity Your Weight Duration Calories Burned
Push mowing 150 lbs 1 hour 382
Brisk walking 150 lbs 1 hour 280

Based on a 150 pound person, this calculator shows push mowing burning about 100 more calories per hour than brisk walking. But keep in mind this can vary based on the factors mentioned earlier.

Muscles Worked

Another reason push mowing burns more calories is because it works more muscle groups throughout the body:

  • Arms – Gripping and pushing the mower engages the biceps, triceps, and shoulders.
  • Core – The constant stabilizing works the abdominal muscles and back.
  • Legs – Striding and using force engages the quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings.

Whereas with walking, the primary muscles worked are in the lower body like the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. The upper body and core are more stationary. The more muscle groups involved means more energy expended overall.

Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise

Walking is considered a lower to moderate intensity aerobic activity. It raises your heart rate but not to maximal levels. Push mowing is considered vigorous intensity exercise. It brings your heart rate closer to its max, along with using more muscles simultaneously.

The harder the heart has to work during exercise, the more calories are burned after activity is completed. This is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Higher intensity exercise like push mowing creates a greater “afterburn effect.”

Weight Loss Benefits

For weight loss, both push mowing and walking have benefits. Here is how they compare:

  • Push mowing burns more calories per hour, resulting in greater fat loss if done regularly.
  • Walking is easier to sustain for longer durations like 60+ minutes for maximal fat burning.
  • Push mowing builds more muscle mass, which increases metabolism.
  • Walking is lower impact and easier recovery for longer term adherence.

For best results, combine push mowing and walking throughout the week. For instance:

  • Do 20-30 minutes of higher intensity push mowing 3 times per week.
  • Complete 4-5 moderate paced walks for 45-60 minutes on other days.

This provides a good training balance to elevate heart rate, burn calories, as well as build muscle.

Other Benefits of Push Mowing and Walking

Along with calories burned, both push mowing and walking provide other health benefits:

Benefits of Push Mowing

  • Builds upper body and core strength
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Increases bone mineral density
  • Boosts cardiovascular fitness
  • Can be done in short intense bursts
  • Gets yard work done at the same time

Benefits of Walking

  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Helps control blood sugar and prevent diabetes
  • Wards off depression and cognitive decline
  • Boosts energy levels
  • Doesn’t require any skill or equipment
  • Social exercise that can be done anytime, anywhere

As you can see, both forms of exercise provide overlapping and unique health benefits. Incorporating both into your fitness routine can help you burn calories, build strength, improve cardiovascular health, and more!

Safety Considerations

When ramping up a push mowing or walking routine, keep these safety guidelines in mind:

  • Wear proper footwear – use supportive athletic shoes for walking and steel-toe boots for mowing.
  • Wear other protective gear like gloves, goggles, and earplugs when mowing.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid hottest parts of the day.
  • Listen to your body – if you feel pain or discomfort, stop the activity.
  • Start slow and gradually increase duration to avoid injuries or strain.

Consult your doctor before significantly increasing physical activity levels as well. This is especially important if you have underlying medical conditions.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, an hour of push mowing burns 100+ more calories than an hour of brisk walking. However, the exact calorie burn depends on intensity, terrain, weight, and other individual factors. Both push mowing and walking provide excellent health and fitness benefits with some unique advantages. Combining higher intensity push mowing and longer duration walking provides a well-rounded exercise routine to torch calories and get in shape. Just be sure to take proper safety precautions when ramping up your activity levels.

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