By Laura Petrolino
Here in the Northeast we had a good eight inches of snow over the weekend (and are expecting another good chunk today – thank you blizzard Juno) and that means shoveling has become one of my favorite forms of cardio as of late.
Shoveling provides a cardiovascular pump and a pretty good upper body workout to boot. I realized this the first time I spent a couple of hours shoveling and then headed into the gym…only to turn right back around and go home, too tired to train. And it reminded me of the many simple daily activities that can really be used as great forms of exercise when done correctly.
This means there is NO excuse NOT to fit exercise in your life.
Here are a few of my favorites and how you can maximize the workout:
- Make sure you keep proper form because its easy to tweak your back or shoulders if done carelessly.
- Keep a steady consistent pace going. If it helps put in some headphones and do it to music. Speed up on fast songs, do longer and deeper shovels for slower songs. This will help keep you warm too.
- Bring water, just like any exercise staying well-hydrated is important.
- Don’t be one-sided, switch it up between being dominate on both sides.
- And don’t forget, walking around in the snow is a great lower body and core workout, so after you shovel go out and play!
- As with shoveling keep a consistent and strong pace.
- Use your core and push and pull the mop with your core muscles keeping your abs engaged.
- Also like shoveling, be bilateral and switch up the dominate side you mop with.
- Amp it up by putting on knee pads and towels on your hands and knees. Wax on, wax off (your floor has never looked so good and this is an amazing exercise).
- Engage your core and use it along with your upper body to dig.
- Use that wheelbarrow to transport plants and dirty (and maybe take an extra lap around the yard for good measure.
- Mow like you mean it. When I had a lawn to mow, I bought myself a push mower. I felt like I was right out of Leave it to Beaver and got a better workout than I would have with an electric mower.
- Dig, dig, dig! Big shovels, little shovels, all the shovels. Summon your inner groundhog!
What are your favorite “fitness chores”?