Punxsutawney Phil, the famous Pennsylvania groundhog, saw his shadow last week… predicting six more weeks of winter. In Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Jimmy the Groundhog gave a similar prediction. If you’re still digging out from all the snow this winter, look at the bright side. Shoveling by hand is a good form of outdoor exercise!
According to the Harvard Medical School’s calories burned chart, shoveling snow by hand for 30-minutes burns the following calories:
CALORIES BURNED FROM 30-MINUTES OF SHOVELING
- 125 lb person – 180 calories
- 155 lb person – 223 calories
- 185 lb person – 266 calories
Shoveling works all major muscle groups in the body including the legs, glutes, abs, back, shoulders, and arms.
Like all forms of exercise, it’s important to properly warm up before getting started. While shoveling, push the snow whenever possible. When you need to lift the snow, keep the work in the legs and engage the core muscles to help protect the back.
The National Safety Council offers additional tips for safe shoveling:
- Do not shovel after eating or while smoking
- Shovel only fresh, powdery snow; it’s lighter
- Do not work to the point of exhaustion
While shoveling can be great exercise, it can also be dangerous. According to the Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide, shoveling leads to 1,200 deaths each year in the U.S. Shoveling can be vigorous exercise so it’s important to talk with your doctor first if you are new to exercise or have any health conditions.