Because Winter is now upon us, and we are definitely starting to see some heavy snowfall, I wanted to see if shoveling snow was a good way to get some exercise. I personally always dreaded going outside and clearing the driveway of snow, but after doing some research, I realized that it definitely has its benefits. According to an article done by Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., L.R.D, at North Dakota State University, a person of 170lbs can shovel for 30 minutes and burn about 250 calories. (Click Here to See the Article) Because shoveling involves high repetitions of lifting a weighted object, it also can help tone your muscles in your arms, legs, and core if done correctly. Not too bad for a chore I hate doing.
It is important to also understand the dangers of shoveling before you go out and start throwing the snow around. A quote from masslive.com stated,
“According to a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, some 195,100 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for snow shoveling-related mishaps from 1990 to 2006. Among those cases, 7 percent were cardiac related, which made up all of the 1,647 deaths in the study.”
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Because shoveling can involve some heavy lifting at times, it also puts some people at risk of heart attacks. If you already have high blood pressure or are at risk of a heart attack, consult your doctor before you decide to go outside and shovel snow.
- Make sure to always lift with your legs and tighten your core when lifting the snow.
- Avoid twisting and lifting from your lower back to avoid lower back injuries which are common when shoveling.
So next time you go out to battle the cold and shovel, try to think of how it actually can help you reach our fitness goals. As long as you stay smart and safe by following the tips I shared, shoveling will can be more than just a chore, but a productive workout.
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