Workout of the Day: Shoveling Snow

Shoveling snow can be a workout—literally.  A 155 pound person burns over 450 calories in an hour of shoveling. It’s a full-body cardiovascular exercise, so take your time, warm up, and stay hydrated as you’re clearing off the sidewalk this winter.

Each year, an average of 11,500 people end up in the emergency room as a result of snow shoveling. It’s no surprise considering that your body is working as hard as if you were jogging, and your joints are twisting and turning under pressure.

Take a few minutes to warm up, especially by stretching your lower back—the most frequently injured area.  Cardiac conditions accounted for 7% of emergency room visits, so take time to get your body warmed up after waking before you head outside to take care of the snow and take breaks every few minutes.

Form is important whenever you’re working hard.  Focus on short-reach efficient movements rather than wide throwing movements, and reduce the amount of snow in each shovel full to limit impact to your joints.  Learn more about the most efficient way to move snow here. Once you’ve got your form down, keep the workout going: help your neighbors dig out from the storm!