Autumn's hidden bonus is bountiful exercise. Give your body a treat and your spirits a lift with an easy cleanup task. And by spring, your leaves will have turned into rich garden gold.
Do It Right
It's true: Raking is terrific exercise. You get a good upper-body workout, and you burn calories. But don't stop there; shred those leaves. For compost, leaves decompose faster when shredded. There are several ways to do this, and you will fit in some good exercise at the same time.
Use a leaf blower equipped with a vacuum setting. Look for one with a built-in shredder that chops the leaves and funnels them into a bag or an accompanying trash can. While you're at it, you are bending, stretching, and improving your mobility.
Or put the bag attachment on your lawn mower, and run it over the leaves. The blade shreds them finely and adds green grass clippings to the mix which provides important nitrogen. Pushing a mower offers aerobic exercise, and emptying the bag works back, arms, and shoulder muscles.