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FITNESS GAL: Winter Weather Workouts

By   |   February 1, 2011   |   Fitness

January was one of the snowiest months ever on record. It’s the sixth snowiest at this point with 56.1 inches of snow here on the East Coast, according to Linda Church of Pix 11 News’ Weather team. Another storm is on its way this week; that could bring another 10 inches!

Even so, that’s no excuse not to work out, and IΓÇÖm here to tell you, thereΓÇÖs no shortage of ways to get it no matter what during the cold.

According to the Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, just 15 minutes of snow shoveling counts as moderate physical activity. Seeing as how the optimum goal for aerobic activity is 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least three times a week, then Shoveling Snow certainly fits the bill!

Some helpful tips on staying safe while shoveling:

  • Stretch every part of your body before going outside. Stand in front of a mirror, bend your knees and reach forward as if youΓÇÖre reaching for yourself in the mirror. Gradually round your back for a count of three reaching towards your toes reach while tucking your belly inward. Then take 10 counts to roll up to position one. Do this three times or until your completely warmed and ready to enter the cold.
  • Grab some water and take it outside with you and sip it regularly to stay hydrated. (I like it room temperature while working.) DonΓÇÖt forget to bundle in layers with your gloves, hat and scarf, and make sure your chest and neck are fully covered to help protect you from the wind and other elements. The layers will be easy to remove if you get overheated while shoveling.
  • Shoveling is a workout, and it should be approached with caution as with any other form of exercise. With your shovel in hand, bend at the knees and contract your abs as you push the shovel into the pretty white snow. Scoop up a small portion, push through your heels and guide the snow to the side. Always bend your knees, which supports the back. You’ll be strengthening your glutes and quads, but if you feel any discomforting strain or are having trouble breathing, take a break (or several).

Simply Getting Snow Off Your Car can be an awesome deltoids/biceps/triceps workout. Push the snow away from your car in an underhand motion to challenge your arms. But once again, listen to your body for any signs of discomfort or strain and take a break.

When’s the last time you enjoyed a good Snow Fight? I enjoy throwing snow and dodging my opponent. It burns calories as well as engaging your core and quads.

Play a game called Build the Biggest Snowman on the block! Do you know how much energy is used rounding out that big bottom, the middle and a tiny little head? All that piling, patting and lifting can burn up to 285 calories per hour (based on 150 lbs. person). Of course, you’ll want to dress up your snowman with buttons, a scarf and hat ΓÇô Style Gals demand it! Get into it — itΓÇÖs about moving your body and making it fun.

And remember when it’s cold your body burns more calories and uses more energy just to warm up. That should be enough motivation to get outside.

Please feel free to send pics of your snowman to Sakeena@DelainaDixon.com and I will post it right here!

Work It Out… No Matter What
Fitness Gal

Filed Under: Fitness

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