The snow is falling in Wisconsin so let’s shovel!
I’m not a fan of snow, but I am a fan of shoveling. Why? Shoveling is both a great cardio and strength workout all in one and it counts towards my minutes of activity!
Snow shoveling should be treated like any other workout to avoid injuries. Warm up for about 10 minutes before by either taking a walk, jumping jacks, running up and down the steps, etc. to get your blood pumping and muscles ready to work.
Once you start shoveling, use the proper technique to protect your back and shoulders. Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you need to lift the snow, don’t use your back. Bend your knees, squat with your legs apart and keep your back straight. Then lift with your legs. Don’t bend at the waist. Scoop many small amounts of snow instead of a few big loads. Never throw snow over your shoulder or to the side. Walk it where it needs to go and dump it.
Pace yourself. Snow shoveling and blowing are aerobic activities. Take frequent breaks and prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids. If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or other signs of a heart attack, stop shoveling/blowing and seek emergency care.
Calories burned: A 185 pound person will burn 196 calories for every 30 minutes of using a snow blower. That same person will burn 261 calories while shoveling for 30 minutes.
To see how many calories you burn for a variety of activities: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calories_burned.asp?exercise=85