30 Minutes of Snow Shoveling Can Burn Off That Cheeseburger

It's true. You really are burning calories shoveling snow. See, winter isn't so bad!

So how many calories are burned snow shoveling? Well, let's just say you can ditch that torturous hour on the treadmill. Simply shoveling snow from your driveway can burn off that cheeseburger you had for lunch in only 30 minutes. Ditto for those 10 Hershey's kisses you might have eaten.

Snow shoveling can use several different muscle groups if done properly and can be an aerobic exercise.

"It's a fullbody workout," said Patti Hatches, a certified athletic trainer and ergonomic assessment specialist at HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness.

Shoveling snow requires a person to squat, work their core and get some upper-body work, Hatches said. If someone shovels snow for more than 20 minutes, it can become a full aerobic workout.

The average person could burn between 150 and 300 calories every half hour of shoveling. But the total burned depends on the person's fitness, weight and the amount of snow. A cheeseburger from McDonald's is 300 calories.

A 150-pound person can burn 200 calories for every half hour of snow shoveling, said Dan E. Bonner, WVU Assistant Professor in the Department of Exercise Physiology. For each additional 10 pounds, a person burns an extra 14 calories in that half hour.

Bonner said he thinks people underestimate the amount of work required for snow shoveling. But he thinks that is true for many daily activities.

There are several safety tips for people when they shovel, Hatches said. Make sure to lift with your legs, don't lift more snow than you can handle and don't throw the snow.

When shoveling, people should listen to their body and take a rest if needed, Hatches said.

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