Are you looking for an outdoor winter workout that packs a punch and can, in some cases, burn even more calories than a low intensity cardio session or weight training? I have your answer: shovelling snow. I’m not even joking.
This weekend, I had to shovel snow for the first time in years. When I lived in Alberta it was a regular occurrence, but since moving back to Vancouver I’ve lived primarily in cushy little condos where I don’t need to worry myself with clearing driveways and sidewalks. Of course, we so rarely get large quantities of snow on the west coast that, even if I’d had a driveway these last few years, it wouldn’t have mattered. Naturally the moment I move to the suburbs, we get a freak year of heavy snowfall. Damn you, Murphy’s Law.
At any rate, what I was reminded of this weekend is that shovelling snow is no joke, and we don’t even have a full length driveway. It took me around 20 minutes to clear the some seriously heavy snow from our front entrance and garage entrance and another five minutes to clear off the deck. I won’t lie, it was tough work and I could feel it. I started to contemplate whether it could constitute bonus exercise on my rest day. Turns out it can!
Right there you see calories burned in 30 minutes for people who weigh 125 lb, 155 lb and 185 lb respectively. That’s not too shabby and, in fact, exceeds calories burned in 30 minutes of activity that we more commonly consider a workout, including: light weight-lifting, low-impact aerobics and hatha yoga.
The moral of the story is, if you live in a locale that offers you snow, grab a shovel and get to it. Not only will you have a clear driveway, but you’ll also reap some legit health benefits.