You may have heard that when shoveling snow calories get burned very quickly. Most of us have heard that while we were still in our teens and our parents were trying to incite us to help with this particular chore in the winter. Are calories burned shoveling snow really that significant, however? Or is the whole thing a parental gimmick to make us do something for the household for once?
Well, while the exact amount of calories you’ll burn depends on a lot of different factors such as your weight, your speed, and effectiveness while shoveling, the temperature outside, and more, the short answer is that – yes, shoveling snow burns quite a lot of calories. The calories burned shoveling snow for 30 minutes will be surprisingly significant for most people, let alone for a longer period of time.
How many calories do you burn shoveling snow on average?
The baseline you can keep in mind is ~223 calories per 30 minutes of activity. This is calculated for a person that weighs around 155 pounds and is according to the Harvard Medical School’s “Calories Burned” official chart.
As we mentioned, however, there are lots of factors that can be added to this baseline calculation. At the very least it’s worth noting that the calories burned shoveling snow 1 hour instead of 30 minutes will be more than two times more because of the increased effort and intensity.
Here are some more factors as well:
Your body weight
As with any other activity, the heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn for the same activity. While a 125-pound person might burn around 180 calories for 30 minutes of light snow shoveling, a 185-pound person will burn ~266 calories for the exact same time and effort.
The air temperature
Many don’t think about this but the temperature of the air also helps burn calories. The colder it is outside the more energy your body must burn to keep warm and the more calories you’ll rid yourself of. This isn’t to say that you should go shoveling half-naked in the dead of night, of course – safety first.
The speed and effort of your shoveling
Obviously, there’s a great difference between shoveling slowly with only half a stroke off the surface of the snow and shoveling as if you’re going for a world record. One method will barely burn any calories while the other will be a fantastic exercise not only for losing weight but also for muscle-building.
Safety is essential
Burning calories and clearing the snow in front of your house are both great but it’s important not to hurt yourself in the process. If you are older, if you’re out of shape or if you have a significant underlying condition, it’s important to either pace yourself while shoveling or not attempt it at all.