The leaves are piling up outside, but you don’t have to dread tending to your yard this season. Working in the yard has plenty of mind and body benefits that can help keep you motivated!

1. Cardiovascular Exercise

Doing yard work is a great cardiovascular exercise. Your activity while raking leaves, sweeping the patio, mowing the lawn, and pulling weeds is a great way to increase oxygen flow to the heart, aids in arterial flow, reduces blood pressure and stress, and gets your heart rate going. Just be sure to keep water on hand and stay hydrated during your back yard workout!

2. Full-Body Workout

Raking and bagging leaves burns 350-450 calories per hour (that’s one-and-a-half slices of pumpkin pie!) and works your legs, shoulders, and core. A 150-pound man can burn 408 calories an hour mowing the lawn. The movements you make while weeding, pruning, and digging all work parts of your upper and lower body. You can even take on one of the best at-home workouts there is: chopping wood. You’ll be preparing your firewood stores for winter and burn over 500 calories an hour while pumping up the back, shoulders and core!

3. Improve Flexibility

Beyond building muscle, yard work’s full-body workout also improves your flexibility. Because you’re using your whole body, the muscles and joints are moving in all types of directions, which increases your ability to prevent muscle pain, inflammation and static muscles from inactivity.

4. Soak up the sun

Shorter fall days means less time to get outside and enjoy sunlight and nature, which can lead to more feelings of restlessness and unhappiness. Setting aside time right after work or on the weekends to get out in the yard and do a little work gives you the opportunity to get some much-needed fresh air and natural Vitamin D through sunlight. Remember your sunscreen whenever you’re out in the sun.

5. Reward yourself

Sometimes a little work deserves a big reward! One of the best treats after tending to your back yard is enjoying it from the comfort of your hot tub. After all, you’ve taken the time to clear the leaves, mow, and tidy the patio… why not take the time to enjoy it all? The cool autumn weather makes a soak in the hot tub seem even more enticing, and as the sun sets, you can enjoy the fruits of all your labor illuminated by the lights of your spa.