Snow Workout? How?
Here’s how to get the most out of your snow day:
With winter in full effect this season, you may be realizing just how tiresome shoveling thousands of pounds of snow can be, but did you know how many calories are burned on an average snow day? According to WebMD, around you burn around 400-600 calories per hour while shoveling snow! So if shoveling snow burns that many calories, why not turn it into a beneficial snow workout? Here are some tips on how to do just that.
You always want to stretch before participating in any form of physical activity, and this also pertains to shoveling snow. You want to concentrate on loosening up your spine, so reaching your arms out as far as possible and twisting your body to your right/left and holding for 20 seconds is a great exercise. Another great stretch would be simply touching your toes and holding for 10-15 seconds to stretch out your legs. These stretches are crucial for helping prevent injury while shoveling during your snow workout, especially the heavier precipitation.
Use Your Heels
Using your back to launch snow over your head will become exhausting and you’ll be ready to call it quits in no time. When you’re bent over with a shovel full of snow, don’t be afraid to push off your heals and engage the largest muscle in the body, the Gluteus Maximus! Not only will the relieve your back, but you’ll be working your glutes more than a normal squat work out! This will save you some serious back pain in the near and distant future and knock out one of the least motivating days in the gym, leg day!
Activating your abdominal wall is crucial for helping relieve back pressure while shoveling snow. This can be done by breathing out while exerting most of your energy, like lifting the snow or throwing the snow on a pile. While exhaling you should tighten your abdomen, almost like forcing the air out of your stomach while you breathe. This will help activate the abdominal wall and help relieve back pressure and intensify your snow workout.
Easier said than done, but this is crucial when participating any type of work out, switch sides! Working only one side of the body can be wasteful, so it is important to switch hands of your shovel every 5-10 minutes. Not only will this engage your entire body with the workout, but it will ensure you won’t develop weird physical appearances when one side of your body is bigger than the other!
As always it is important to re-hydrate after physical activity, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water after you’re done in the snow even if you don’t feel like you sweat at all. After all, you are burning 400-600 calories per hour, so eat and hydrate yourself!