Is a DIY Workout Better Than Going to the Gym?

DIY might be a more viable exercise option than you thought.

Are you a busy DIYer who struggles to find the time to make it to the gym? Well, a recent study out of the United Kingdom found a lot of the work required by DIY and construction projects might be more than enough exercise to supplement your gym schedule.

The study looked at how many calories people in the trades burn hourly while performing their daily tasks. They compared that to the number of calories the average person burns during traditional workouts. The results showed that in most cases, activities such as gardening, house painting and carpentry burn just as many (if not more) calories than jogging and cardio workouts.

“The NHS recommends that each adult aged between 19 and 64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity [such as brisk walking] or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity [such as running] a week,” the study says. That means many tradespeople may have already done their recommended weekly physical activity before lunchtime on Monday!

Here are the top six most calorie-demanding jobs according to the study:

  1. Carrying heavy loads: 661 calories per hour;
  2. Carpentry: 578 calories per hour;
  3. Planting by hand: 496 calories per hour;
  4. Shoveling: 479 calories per hour;
  5. Painting house (outside): 413 calories per hour;
  6. Masonry: 355 calories per hour.

Another great way to exercise with a DIY flair is to make your own workout equipment. Creating medicine balls and resistance bands is a fun project that get you started on the road toward a healthy and fit lifestyle. Once you start looking for them, you’ll see opportunities for exercise everywhere around your home.

Harrison Kral
After spending his college summers pouring concrete and building decks, Harrison Kral decided to find a way to put his insider knowledge of construction to use…. just in an air-conditioned setting. He’s an established writer and editor in the DIY space who has written extensively on the home building industry, the housing market, and general DIY trends.