How Many Calories Can You Burn While Shoveling Show?

Clear your snow-drifted walks and burn calories quickly at the same time. Snow shoveling is dynamic cardio exercise that uses muscles in your legs, core, back, shoulders and arms as you work to keep your body warm, walk around, lift a shovel loaded with frozen water, brace your core, thighs and upper body against the weight, and repeat a full range of movement with each toss. All of these things add up to a fair workout -- and a strenuous one.

A woman shoveling snow off the sidewalk in front of her business.
Credit: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Baseline Calories

Shoveling snow burns about 223 calories per 30 minutes of activity, according to Harvard Medical School's "Calories Burned..." chart. The cost in calories is calculated based on the activity of a person who weighs 155 pounds.

Body Weight

Body weight is a major factor in how many calories a person burns. You are fueling your body weight at the same time as you're clearing the sidewalk. While a 125-pound person may burn 180 calories in a half-hour of shoveling, a 185-pound person would burn 266 calories doing the same job in the same amount of time.

Chilling, Machines and Other Variables

Several other variables come into play when shoveling snow. The colder it is outside, the more calories you'll burn just staying warm. Shoveling faster will also increase the amount of calories your burn. Likewise, taking long rests between short bouts of shoveling -- or using a snow blower instead of a shovel -- will reduce the amount of calories you burn. A 185-pound person using a snow blower for 30 minutes burns only 200 calories, compared to 266 when shoveling by hand.

Sensible Snow Shoveling

Snow shoveling is intense cardio work and best attempted when you are in good shape. If you are older, out-of-shape and mostly sedentary, or have a medical condition that could put you at risk when performing high-intensity exercise, check with your physician before tackling the front walk.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.