If I’m back to mowing the lawn, it must be spring.
And unlike many people, I don’t look at the regular practice of getting the mower out and walking over every square inch of grass as work. I look at it as exercise, a chance to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and (relatively) fresh air.
I’ve liked yard work since I was a teenager, when I worked my way through college by mowing parks each summer. Yeah, I drove one of those riding mowers, but not until I’d earned my wings the year before pushing a hand mower.
Years later, I bought a home and purchased one of those old-fashioned reel mowers, the kind without an engine. I don’t like breathing the exhaust and read several years earlier that lawn mower engines put out (a lot) more pollution than a car engine.
Luckily, my lawn was flat and not really too large, so it only took about an hour, maybe a little more, to mow it every weekend in the spring and summer.
It’s gratifying to work and see results, and a smartly mowed lawn is nice to look at, right? Gives you a good sense of accomplishment, maybe a little pride.
At any rate, I have months and months of mowing ahead. It’s invigorating to be outside in the sun, soaking up vitamin D I’ve been missing in the winter. Neighbors walk over to talk, my cat gets to investigate the front yard, a place normally off-limits due to a busy street. It just re-energizes me after a winter spent mostly indoors. (Never got into skiing, even though cross-country skiing is another great exercise and has many of the same benefits.)
To continue in the exercise vein, Livestrong. com points out:
Hand mowers don’t have an engine and instead rely on your physical pushing strength to spin the cutting blades. Not surprisingly, they offer up a more vigorous cardio workout. The typical 135-pound person using a hand mower for 30 minutes burns approximately 193 calories while someone weighing 175 pounds burns a whopping 251 calories in the same amount of time.
And this from Thought.Co on the emissions angle:
A Swedish study conducted in 2001 concluded, “Air pollution from cutting grass for an hour with a gasoline powered lawn mower is about the same as that from a 100-mile automobile ride.” Meanwhile, the 54 million Americans mowing their lawns each weekend with gas-powered mowers may be contributing as much as five percent of the nation’s air pollution, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At any rate, I’m once again going to be out there each weekend, pushing my hand mower back and forth, up and down, enjoying every minute. Can’t wait.