How Many Calories Do You Burn Shoveling Snow?

Can shoveling snow be a substitute for your gym training? Let’s find it out!

Written by Meredith Hayes. Updated on How Many Calories Do You Burn Shoveling Snow

To be in a good shape and stay healthy, you need to exercise. This is a well-known fact and we try hard to stay fit. But if it’s easy to do in summer by running in a nearby park or exercising in your yard, when winter comes, things may turn out to be a bit more difficult.

As a good alternative option, you can use your daily outdoor chores as exercises. For example, shoveling snow off your house’s roof, driveway or car can be a nice way to keep yourself in a good shape.

But unlike exercising in a gym, such activities make it hard to calculate the calories you burn while doing them.

So today we will explain how you can find out how many calories shoveling snow burns. Also, you will find out what the number of calories burnt depends on.

With all this in mind, you will be able to calculate how long you need to shovel your yard or driveway to burn the desired number of calories even without a special calculator that counts calories burned while shoveling snow!

How Many Calories Can Snow Shoveling Burn?

First of all, we guess there is no need to say that shoveling snow does burn calories! This is quite an active kind of physical activity so you can compare it to light exercising in a gym or a brisk walk, for example. So if you don’t have time to go to the gym or take a long run, just clean some snow off your roof!

Calories Burned Shoveling SnowCalories Burned Shoveling Snow

As for the number of calories that shoveling can help you to get rid of, here are some estimated numbers for you to consider. As an adult, you can get approximately 200 calories burned by shoveling snow by hand for every 30 minutes of work. If you need more specific numbers, check this out:

  • a 125-pound adult person can expect to burn nearly 180 calories when shoveling by hand
  • a 155-pound person can burn 223 calories when shoveling by hand
  • a 185-pound person can burn 266 calories per half an hour of shoveling

However, if you want to know how many calories exactly get burned while you are shoveling snow, you need to note that the number of calories will depend on several factors.

  • Your weight
  • The amount of snow you need to clean
  • The tools you are using (a shovel or a snow blower)
  • The time you spend shoveling
  • How actively you are working

Below, we will give you more details on each of these factors so that you could better understand how they affect the number of calories burned while shoveling snow by hand. You will be able to calculate approximately how many calories will be burnt if you need to shovel your roof, your driveway, or just some small area like a porch.

By the way, if you are a lucky owner of a snowblower, don’t think that you won’t spend a single calorie to get the job done! When you are using this machine, it is the same as getting a pretty solid workout!

For example, pushing a snowblower around for 30 minutes will help you burn from 135 to 200 calories, depending on the area you need to clean.

How Many Calories Can Snow Shoveling Burn
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What Factors Affect the Number Of Calories That Get Burned While Shoveling Snow?

As you definitely know, you can do the same amount of work spending a distinct amount of time on it. For example, you can shovel your porch by hand and spend around half an hour on this task.

5 Stages of Shoveling Snow5 Stages of Shoveling Snow

Or you can do the same amount of work and spend an hour. It depends on how slow or how quickly you work. As a result, the pace of your work will affect the number of calories you burn while working.

But this is not the only factor that can affect the number of calories burned by shoveling snow. We have prepared a detailed guide on all the things that might influence the amount of energy one can spend on cleaning snow off different surfaces by hand.

What Factors Affect the Number Of Calories That Get Burned While Shoveling Snow
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Intensity Of Your Work

When shoveling snow, it does matter how actively and intensively you work. If you are just casually shoveling snow from the sidewalk, you are going to burn fewer calories than someone who is moving quickly.

This is why two different people who need to shovel the same amount of snow from a territory of the same size may burn a different number of calories, depending on how quickly they do it.

How Much Time You Spend Shoveling?

Of course, the longevity of your shoveling session also matters! If you only need to sling snow for 10 minutes, you will burn fewer calories than if you were working for half an hour!

In addition, intensity also matters here. If there is not much snow you need to clean and you shovel it slowly, expect to burn fewer calories than if you are vigorously cleaning it off!

How Heavy the Snow Is?

It’s not the same thing to shovel light, powdery snow and to deal with icy, packed snow to remove it out of the way! To clean some light snow, you won’t have to spend much effort whilst packed snow requires way more strength!

This is how it works: when the snow is heavy and you are moving quickly while shoveling it, your body increases your heart rate. In other words, it means that your body is burning more calories to make you able to handle the activity.

Additionally, if you are scooping up a heavy load of snow, your body uses more muscle fibers to help you lift it! As a result, calorie consumption grows.

How Heavy the Snow Is
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What Tools You Are Using?

If you shovel snow by hand, you will have to spend more energy and thus burn more calories than if you are using a snow blower. Especially if you are dealing with heavy snow manually.

However, it’s a mistake to think that snow blowers require no effort! This machine is quite heavy and to push it in the direction you need it to move, you will have to apply quite a muscular power!

What Tools You Are Using
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Do You Take Rest While Removing Snow?

People often forget about this nuance, but it also matters a lot. See, if you take long periods of time to rest between short sessions of shoveling, it will reduce the number of calories you burn in total in the end.

Again, using a snow blower instead of a shovel will also make you burn fewer calories. To see how it works, just check this out: a 185-pound person that is using a snow blower for half an hour will burn only 200 calories. In comparison, when shoveling by hand, the same person can burn 266 calories for the same period of time!

So now you know how many calories one can burn while removing snow with a shovel and what factors can influence these numbers.

But since shoveling requires the use of specific machines like a snow blower and is performed in winter when the surface can be slippery, we suggest you learn a few safety tips.

With their help, you will be able to clean snow off your property not only effectively but also without any damage to yourself.

Do You Take Rest While Removing Snow
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How to Stay Safe While Shoveling Snow?

It may seem to some of you that snow shoveling is a simple thing to do, but in fact, it is not quite so. See, when you are shoveling, you are performing intense cardio work! This is why it is mandatory that you make sure you are in decent shape before you grab a shovel.

If you are older or you are out-of-shape, you might want to let someone else do it for you. Also, if you have any medical condition that could threaten your health and safety when performing a high-intensity exercise like shoveling, check with your physician first!

But even if you are in good physical shape and absolutely healthy, you need to follow a few safety measures to make sure shoveling won’t end up with an accident!

How to Stay Safe While Shoveling Snow
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Work With Caution

Snow shoveling is what leads to thousands of injuries and as many as 100 deaths each year according to the National Safety Council! This is why, if you don’t want to be another person on this list, make sure you have plenty of time to get the job done.

It is important that you don’t put too much stress on your heart or strain on your muscles. You need to be able to work in a comfortable pace.

​Warm Up Before You Start

You wouldn’t start your training in a gym without doing some dynamic stretches and motion exercises first, right? In the same way, you shouldn’t shovel snow outside when it’s cold without warming up a bit in advance. Do some core rotations, jumping jacks, and side-to-side reaches.

It will help your body to warm up and your heart to get the rate up. Plus, your muscles will be ready for work much better when they are prepared!

Remember that, when you start performing any active physical work like that without warming up, you can easily scratch your muscles or hurt yourself somehow else.

​Warm Up Before You Start
brebca via VistaCreate

Use Proper Tools

It may seem that using a shovel is extremely simple and you can grab any of them to clean snow off your house or sidewalk. However, ​it is important that you use a shovel that has a handle of the right size!

The general rule of thumb is the following: the closer the shovel with the snow on it can stay to your body, the easier and less heavy it will be. If the handle of your shovel is too long, it will be farther from your body.

As a result, each load of snow you lift will be heavier than it needs to be.

Work In a Correct Position

Not everyone knows that your body should be in the right position to shovel effectively and safely! It’s like exercising in a gym in fact! If you are in the correct position, the exercise will be successful and won’t traumatize you.

So here are a few handy tips for you regarding your body position for shoveling:

  • bend your knees
  • don’t lift with your back​
  • take frequent breaks
  • do some quick stretches when you have finished shoveling

Our backs don’t react to a lot of twisting well, especially when we are carrying or lifting something heavy like a shovel full of snow. So proper body position will ensure you won’t hurt yourself by accident.

With these simple recommendations, you will be able to stay safe while shoveling. Make sure you use them! These tips are not difficult to use and follow, but with their help, you will make winter shoveling much safer.

Well, now you know how many calories one can burn while removing snow with a shovel outdoors in winter. Also, you are now aware that the number of calories burned may differ depending on whether you are using a shovel or a snow blower.

In addition, we told you what other factors may influence the calorie consumption. And since now you have a list of rules and recommendations that will help you shovel both effectively and safely, you can be sure you are fully prepared for winter!

Work In a Correct Position
x.marynka via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How heavy is a snow shovel?

Most snow shovels weigh 12 to 15 pounds. That's light enough that you can easily bring one up the steps, for example.

⭐How big is a standard snow shovel?

Most snow shovels have blades between 12 and 30 inches. Smaller blades are good for scooping up snow and larger blades are used for pushing snow out of the way.

⭐What is a snow shovel made of?

Snow shovel blades are made of the following materials: polyethylene plastic, steel, or aluminum since they need to be lightweight yet rugged.

Written by
Meredith will assist you with your health and family problems. She is a professional therapist who has huge experience in the field of family health care.
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Does Shovelling snow burn calories?Does Shovelling snow burn calories?