With the tremendous snow fall, a driving ban in place, power outages all over the state and being stuck at home; I thought I’d look on the bright side and research the health benefits of shoveling snow… since we’ll be doing a WHOLE lot of it the next couple of days.
1) Cardiovascular. February is Heart Health month after all and shoveling is a great way to get cardiovascular and aerobic exercise. These types of exercise are extremely important for your heart and circulatory system and help to prevent cardiovascular disease which is the leading cause of death worldwide. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. Any exercise that involves large muscle groups, like your legs, is beneficial to your heart and lungs and can help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
2) Burn Calories… many of us still need to lose the weight we gained during the holiday season. A half-hour of moderate snow shoveling can burn more than 250 calories. Just don’t drink too many hot chocolates or hot totties to make up for those burned calories.
3) Muscle builder… the act of shoveling snow is a great full body workout and will help build muscle which is extremely important for weight loss and overall health. Muscle burns calories through out the day, even when you’re sleeping!
4) Vitamin D… being outdoors you get some of those beneficial UVB rays that help your body make Vitamin D and helps prevent seasonal depression. PS… Make sure to wear SUNSCREEN!!
5) Fresh air! Being cooped up in the house makes us a little stir crazy, so just getting outside is of great benefit to your mental state, never mind all of the physical benefits.