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Benefits of Snow Shoveling

snow shoveling

If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, that's one way to get your daily exercise. Snow shoveling is an excellent form of exercise that raises the heart rate and burns many calories. Shoveling snow uses the large muscle body groups in a rhythmic fashion. However, if you do not exercise regularly or have cardiovascular risk factors, you should be careful when shoveling snow.

snow shoveling

It’s January. Your gym is packed. Don’t wait in line for a machine; get a workout in your driveway and pick up a shovel.

It’s more economical than a snow blower, and shoveling is an intense cardio workout that exercises muscles in your legs, core, back, shoulders and arms.

Burn up calories: The exact amount depends on pace and intensity, but expect to burn around 250 calories for every 30 minutes of shoveling. If you experience lower temperatures, heavy snowfall, or the need to chop ice, you’ll burn even more calories as your body fights to stay warm and increases exertion. (Be safe, of course, and don’t shovel snow if you have a medical condition or you don’t normally exercise.)

Work different muscle groups: Shoveling snow is a high-intensity workout – especially if you shovel fast – and it works all of your major muscle groups. You will feel it the next day in your legs, core, back, shoulders and arms. Use a full range of motion and fire your core muscles as you bend and lift.

Use proper technique: Make sure to squat and lift the snow with your legs, not your back. Second, avoid bending over at the hip flexors. Lastly, keep the shovel close to your body and walk to where you will dump the snow instead of over-extending, twisting or leaning to toss it.

Dress right: Being too cold can be dangerous and will tighten up your muscles. Dress in winter layers, wear good boots with traction (snow and ice mixed can be treacherous) and cover up your hands, ears and head.

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