Shoveling Snow, Calories Burned

This is the sixth storm to hit the Northeast this winter season, and shoveling snow has been a weekly occurrence for many New Yorkers. But can a good bout of shoveling really replace exercise?

According to the experts, shoveling snow can burn over 400 calories an hour. Not bad when you consider how much it's snowed lately. Of course, every approach is different, some work slow and steady, while others barrel through. Either style, shoveling can be a lot of work, and can even replace exercise for a day or two, if and when the workload is high enough.

Here's some general guidelines to help make shoveling safer and more productive
  • Lift with the legs and hips, not just the back and arms
  • When practical, push the snow (using legs), rather than carrying or tossing
  • Stay hydrated while shoveling, bring along a water bottle
  • Take multiple breaks if necessary, it's not a race
  • Warm up or go slowly at first, before you get started
  • Dress appropriately (hat, gloves, layer clothing)
  • If you feel short of breath STOP and rest, seek medical attention if necessary
Shoveling snow can serve as a temporary substitute for moderate exercise, but of course the spring is right around the corner, and it might be time to consider a more permanent regimen. At AKC Fitness LI and kbGYM.com, we offer multiple kettlebell fitness programs for just about every level. If you haven't already, come down and check us out for a free trial lesson, or visit us online (online training available).