Shoveling snow….is it the new winter fitness?

Winter is in full swing here in the Capital Region.  That means the shovels are out, unless you are part of the lucky population with a snow blower or plow.  I suggest we change our view of shoveling from the negative “Man I hate this” attitude to “Wow this really is a good workout!”

Shovelling can be a great workout when it’s done properly.  Be sure to bend at the knees when lifting that load of snow, using the large muscles in your legs.  Do not bend at the waist as this can put excess strain on the lower back.  Also, although this may be awkward, switch arms you are using.  This allows you to use both arms and shoulders equally.

When getting dressed to go out and brave the elements, take into consideration that you are in fact working.  You will heat up so don’t overdress.  You want to make sure you’ve got a hat, gloves, boots, warm socks, but don’t have an excessive amount of layers on.  You can actually over heat while shoveling so starting off a little cool usually means you’ve got just the right amount of clothing on.

Lastly, be aware of yourself, how you feel and your surroundings while out there clearing that driveway.  If you have pain (different from a little discomfort or muscle soreness) anywhere stop what you are doing.  Pay attention to vehicles driving in the road, they may not see you out there at the end of the driveway.

Stay warm this winter and stay safe.  And remember, shovelling that driveway can be a great way to burn off some of those unwanted holiday calories!