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Snow Shoveling Calories Burned Calculator

Table of contents

Snow shoveling: The coolest workout to burn caloriesTrade the treadmill for a shovelHow to use the snow shoveling calories burned calculatorTips for shoveling snow safelyProtect the environment: Shovel snow by hand

Do you dread waking up on a Monday morning to find your driveway covered in snow? We get it... We do, too! But what if we told you that snow shoveling could be considered a full workout and that we can help you calculate how many calories you would burn in the blink of an eye? Interested?

Moreover, if you're worried you won't have enough time to shovel your driveway completely, don't worry! We've got you snow-covered. 🌨 With our tool, you can calculate how long it will take to shovel snow from an entire area fully.

Read on to discover the health and environmental benefits of shoveling and how to use our snow shoveling calories burned calculator. We'll also give you some tips for shoveling snow safely.

Winterful, right? ❄️

Snowed-in automobiles in the United States.
Aftermaths of January 2016 United States blizzard (Credit: Jarek Tuszyński, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

When your neighbor sees a problem, you can see a free workout.

Snow shoveling: The coolest workout to burn calories

Have you ever wondered how much of a good workout snow shoveling can be? Far from being a simple chore, this winter activity can be an opportunity to burn calories effectively.

To measure the burned calories, we used the metabolic equivalent of task (MET), which calculates the energy expenditure and intensity of a specific physical activity. By convention, 1 MET = 3.5 ml oxygen/kg body weight/min.

For example, shoveling snow by hand in a relaxed way has a MET of 5.3. If you consult our tables below, you'll see that this activity has the same MET as snowshoeing and snowboarding. 🏂 Not bad for an activity that also helps you avoid a slippery fall!

So grab your shovel, and let's melt these calories away!

Average calories burned with different snow shoveling methods (weight: 180 lbs)

Snow shoveling

MET

15 min

30 min

45 min

60 min

Operating snow blower, walking

2

51

102

153

204

Raking roof with snow rake

3

61

123

184

245

Riding a snowblower

3

61

123

184

245

By hand (relaxed)

5.3

108

216

324

432

By hand (moderate effort)

6

123

245

367

490

By hand (intensively)

7.5

153

306

460

612

Average calories burned with various Winter sports (weight: 180 lbs)

Winter sports

MET

15 min

30 min

45 min

60 min

Sledding

4.4

94

189

283

377

Skiing

4.8

103

206

309

411

Snowshoeing

5.3

108

216

324

432

Snowboarding

5.3

108

216

324

432

Ice skating

7

150

300

450

600

Ice Hockey

8

171

343

514

686

Speed skating

13.3

285

570

855

1140

Biathlon

13.5

289

579

868

1157

Thus, if we consider a full hour of activity, shoveling snow with intensive effort proves to be a solid workout, burning 600 calories, which is roughly comparable to the calorie burn of a full hour of ice skating. ⛸️

These numbers are calculated for a person weighing 180 lbs. The number of calories burned differs according to weight.

💡 Let's not forget the benefits of physical activity for good mental health. As with any physical activity, after 30 minutes, snow shoveling will help your brain secrete endorphins.

Trade the treadmill for a shovel

By now, you've figured out that what is a chore for many can be a free fitness session for you. Shoveling is a great way to tone up if you take the time to perform the movements correctly and purposefully.

First, you'll work your glutes and lumbar muscles by flexing your legs and keeping your back straight and strong. Take it easy when rotating your torso, and always contract your abdominal muscles. You'll get a great workout! The trick is to take only a little snow at a time. Pace yourself, one snowflake at a time. ❄️

What's more, your biceps are exercised when you lift the snow, and your triceps when you push it. With the proper technique, every muscle in your body can be put to good use!

Who says there's no such thing as a winter body? ☃️

💡 Did you know it's illegal not to clear snow from sidewalks in some Canadian cities? If you fail to comply with this rule, you may be fined between $100 and $200. So it's best to be prepared!

How to use the snow shoveling calories burned calculator

Let's take a look at how our snow shoveling calories burned calculator works. You will see, it's snow big deal.

Our calculator is simple and user-friendly. Just enter a few details, and it will do the math for you. As we like to say, work winter, not harder.

  1. First, enter your body weight, selecting your preferred units first. This information is essential for an accurate calorie calculation.

  2. Next, enter the intensity of your shoveling effort. You can choose your shoveling intensity from the drop-down menu.

  3. If you want to be even more precise, you can click on the Amount of snow to shift section. Further information will appear. You can:

    • Choose the type of snow you're shoveling from a drop-down list.

    • Enter the snow depth.

    • Specify the extent of the area you are shoveling.

    • Find the weight of snow per shovel.

    • And finally, enter your shoveling speed in the number of shovels shifted per minute.

    • The calculator will then tell you how long it will take to shift all of this snow. You can use this figure later.

  4. The calculator displays the estimated number of calories burned per minute.

  5. To calculate the total number of calories burned during your shoveling session: enter the total time spent shoveling. The final result is shown immediately.

  6. If you have decided to enter additional information in the Amount of snow to shift section, enter the estimated time required to clear all the snow in Step 5.

💡 For the nostalgic people of the shovel, once winter is over, you can follow the steps of the artist Marcel Duchamp and display your shovel in your home. It will give, for sure, a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to your interior.

A snow shovel as a readymade artwork, titled "In Advanced of the Broken Arm", by Marcel Duchamp.
In Advanced of the Broken Arm by Marcel Duchamp.

Tips for shoveling snow safely

Like all physical activity, shoveling snow requires a little preparation and warm-up. Here are some tips on how to clear snow safely.

❄️ Choose your shovel carefully! It doesn't have to be love at frost sight, but a tool well adapted to your size will prevent injuries. The shovel handle should be long enough so that you don't have to bend over to clear snow. With a small shovel, you'll lift less snow, which means less strain on your heart.

❄️ Prepare yourself properly! Take the time to do a few warm-up exercises to prepare your body for physical effort.

❄️ Take your time and enjoy! Why not take advantage of the snow to create a fun group activity? Ask young and old to join in!

❄️ Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water, as dehydration occurs in both summer and winter.

❄️ Finally, don't forget that the cold can lead to frostbite 🥶 and other health problems. So limit your time outdoors and dress warmly.🧣

💡 The oldest evidence of human-made snow removal tools is a 6,000-year-old snow shovel found in Russia. Nowadays, over 100 patents have been granted for snow shovel models since the 1870s, as many people have tried to improve this classic.

Protect the environment: Shovel snow by hand

As we all know now, shoveling snow is physical. And we've all been tempted by the easy way out, a.k.a. road salt. However, it is essential to know that traditional de-icing salt, while effective, can affect the quality of soil and water bodies. Indeed, salt, used to melt snow, ends up in soil and water, disrupting ecosystems:

  • Soil permeability is reduced, making it harder for water and air to circulate.

  • Salt can also limit the growth of plants and trees, disrupting their cycles, causing leaf loss or disease, and sometimes even death.

  • The characteristics of water (rivers, lakes, etc.) are also modified, leading to the disappearance of certain fish and amphibians.

Hence, let's protect the environment and save salt for cooking.

💡 In Japan, snow shovels are public, prompting cooperation and physical activity.

Public Snow shovels near Dentetsu-Toyama Station with snow next to them.
Public Snow shovels near Dentetsu-Toyama Station (Credit: naosuke ii, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Now, you have all the snowledge you need on how many calories you can burn while snow-clearing your driveway.

❄️ On your shovel, get set, go! ❄️

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