Oh, The Weather Outside Burns Calories!

Shoveling Snow IIt can be easy to allow the Winter weather to become overwhelming, or even depressing!  In fact, some folks use it as a reason NOT to exercise!  BIG Mistake!

Did you know that Shoveling Snow can be a very intense activity, that can potentially improve your aerobic fitness, muscular endurance, and aid in weight loss?  That is indeed correct!  Just 45 minutes of Shoveling Snow burns about 300 calories (based upon 150 lb. person).  Just compare that to Walking at a moderate pace of three (3) miles per hour for 60 minutes, which provides the very same burn!  In addition, it is a more complete total body workout, as several groups of muscles are used, which adds to the muscular development that Walking will NEVER provide.

Let me STRONGLY suggest, though, that you take about five (5) to  ten (10) minutes to Warm-up, by doing some light twisting movements of the trunk muscles, along with some static stretching of the back and leg muscles.  A second round of Warm-ups should be done after the initial 10-15 minutes of “Light Shoveling” (NEVER start out with Heavy Snow immediately).

“Aerobic Shoveling” should be done in 15-20 minute segments with some sort of “Rest Period” in between.  This is a great time for additional Stretching, especially the Lower Back and the Leg Muscles.  It is also a perfect time for getting water.

For “Anaerobic Shoveling”, which is more intense shoveling, but for a shorter period of time, such should be restricted to two (2) minute segments, with a period of one (1) minute of rest in between.  Once again, though, be sure to adequately Warm-up and Stretch, even in between each two (2) minute period.

Just as if you were at the gym lifting weights (snow is just another form of weight resistance), be sure to use proper technique in “lifting” the snow, which means to allow the legs to absorb most of the weight, even when throwing the snow.  Try to avoid using only the back or shoulders to do the lifting or throwing!

Finally, take the time to dress warm, as this will minimize unnecessary injury.  It is okay to sweat, as it is the process by which the body releases excess heat, even though it may feel a bit uncomfortable for the duration of the workout!  Not only will Snow Shoveling provide a great calorie burn, but you will also be able to get your car out of the driveway to go out for dinner!