The Winter Weather Workout

February 5th, 2011

The snow, the ice, the cold – it's been a tough winter and there are still weeks to go. But look on the bright side – many of the indoor and outdoor winter chores you do everyday can actually contribute to your overall good health. For example, did you know that just 15 minutes of shoveling snow counts as a moderate physical activity? That’s because the average weight of a shovelful of snow is 16 pounds. Multiply that by 50 to 100 "scoops" and you begin to see why snow shoveling is both a good cardiovascular and strength-training exercise.

Here's a list of some common winter chores that will also help you burn some calories:

  • Baking (using manual appliances): 145 calories/per hour
  • Chopping wood: 430 calories/per hour
  • Ice scrapping: 240 calories/per hour
  • Shopping: 155 calories/per hour
  • Shoveling snow: 430 calories/per hour
  • Using a push snow blower: 320 calories/per hour

When shoveling snow, don’t forget some basic safety tips. Lift with your legs and not with your back. Pushing snow out of the way instead of lifting shovelfuls is easier on your back. Bend at the knees and avoid twisting your back when hurling snow. And remember your physical limitations – if you have an existing health condition, don't push yourself.

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