I had plans to meet a friend this morning for a hike as part of both our New Year’s resolutions to get in better shape but the weather had other plans. A foot of snow fell yesterday and last night and so not only was walking around outside out of the question (although I kinda wish I still had my old cross-country skis) but mall-walking was even iffy considering schools were closed, numerous events were postponed or cancelled, and my street hadn’t been plowed yet at 10am.

Slightly above dead center there's a little snow pile balancing on an individual crab apple.

I stood in the window looking gloomily at the long stretch of shoveling I had to do. I’m not sure why but I really hate shoveling snow.

My deck is under there, somewhere, then a long trail across the lawn to the car, then the driveway goes down past the fire hydrant.

On the bright side it is a really great workout, which means that although I didn’t do the exercise I planned on doing today I ended up doing something just as good, if not better. I was careful, took it slow, and paid attention to maintaining proper posture and body mechanics and now, after it’s all said and done, I feel awesome. And I bet I’ll be sore tomorrow, in a good way.

Snow shoveling fun facts:

  • The average adult burns 400 calories an hour shoveling snow
  • The average “shovel load” weighs 16lbs
  • The average person loads their shovel about 12 times a minute, which adds up to lifting almost 2,000 pounds every 10 minutes

Considering you can burn 400 calories an hour while getting both a strength and cardio workout you can totally skip the gym guilt-free on days you have to shovel your car out to get to work!

Being safe is key, however, as the cold air, slippery footing, and strenuous activity can be a dangerous combination. Click here for snow shoveling tips and safety advice, including:

  • Lift with your legs (not your back)
  • Warm up muscles first and dress in layers
  • Go slow and listen to your body, and quit immediately if something doesn’t feel right
  • Use a shovel with a small blade to discourage straining with too-heavy shovel-fulls of snow

"Winter interest" in the form of the past summer's marigold-and-herbs container garden

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