Shovel This!

It’s another brutal winter for many in the United States. For regular gym-goers or outdoor exercise enthusiasts, this type of weather brings the meaning of cabin fever to a whole new level. Read my post from last year (another unrelenting winter for those of us in the Northeast) to reassure yourself that shoveling is a fantastic replacement for the workout you planned but can’t do because of the weather. It’s filled with tips for when and how to shovel as well as guidelines for those who shouldn’t shovel.

Fit & Happier

The dreaded weather report: another storm is on the way, this may curtail your gym plans yet again.  No worries, you can get a good workout staying home.  Shoveling snow – for those who are healthy and exercise regularly – is a fantastic workout.  How fantastic?  On average, 288 calories per hour.  Even more impressive than the calorie burn is the nature of the workout.  When done properly, shoveling snow is a high-intensity, full-body strength training workout that raises your heart-rate enough to qualify as a cardiovascular workout as well.  This type of workout maximizes post-exercise calorie burn (EPOC), known as afterburn.  The following is everything you need to know – proper form and strategy, safest attire and equipment, pre and post shoveling regimen, and when shoveling isn’t appropriate – to get a great workout while reducing risk for injury when the next winter storm hits.

Proper Form and Strategy: If…

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