Shape up with a shovel
As a new year approaches, many people strive to make life changes and set new goals. One of the most popular: joining a gym and getting in shape. But what happens when bad weather hits? It’s a great excuse to keep yourself from the gym, and can lead to you giving up on your resolution. However, if you don’t want a couple bad snow days to sidetrack you from your goal, use Mother Nature to your advantage. The snow isn’t going to shovel itself, right?
According to Harvard Medical School, a person weighing 155 pounds burns 223 calories shoveling snow for 30 minutes. Walking behind a snow blower for 30 minutes burns 167 calories. This is more than some of the most common exercise routines.
- Low-impact aerobics class: 205 calories
- Walking on a treadmill at 3.5 mph: 149 calories
- Weight training: 112 calories
Before starting your snow shovel workout, keep these tips in mind:
- Dress appropriately for the weather.
- Do a short warm-up before heading outside.
- If you’re new to exercise, or just starting back up, do not load your shovel with large amounts of snow.
- Lift with your legs, not your back ─ like you’re doing a squat. Keep your feet shoulder- width apart, bend your knees while keeping your back straight and chest lifted. With your thighs parallel to the ground, scoop snow onto your shovel.
- Push the snow, instead of lifting. Just lunge your way across the sidewalk or driveway while you push the snow in front of you. Keep your front knee in line with the second toe.
- For a more experienced weight lifter, try a few shovel deadlifts with the snow acting as your weight.
- Always stay well hydrated, sipping on water periodically. You will sweat more than you realize.