Living in Iowa has its advantages and its disadvantages. I love the fact that living expenses are cheap, the air is clean and the fact that we get to enjoy 4 seasons! That also brings me to a disadvantage – SNOW! I think the only people in the world who love snow are children, teachers (snow days) and people from warm, southern states that get snow once every 5 years. Don't get me wrong, I love snowy days where you can look outside and see your beautiful snow covered neighborhood and frost on your windows. But…I mean BUT, with snow comes shoveling. Unless you're fancy smancy and have a blower or plow, but us newlyweds are definitely not keepin up with the Joneses. We do have a beautiful forest green, plastic shovel passed onto us by my old roommate. I think I took a few winters off of it's life last snow storm though by trying to push it with my foot and I broke off the top edge, poor shovel. It wasn't my fault that it "felt like –21 degrees" and my cheapo plastic had to bust! While I could go on and on, what I'm here to tell you is why you should love shoveling! Okay, maybe love is an overstatement and should only apply to spouses and desserts, but I am here to tell you why shoveling is beneficial to you!
In research for this post, I actually found an article that tells you "Step 1: Warm Up." Like really? I totally understand why anyone over 40 should do this, but the only warming up I'll be doing is drinking a cup of hot cocoa. We're not runnin a marathon here folks, we're just trying to get our car outta the drive. On to the content…
7 Reasons Why You Should Love Shoveling
(AKA Why Shoveling is Beneficial to You)
1. High-Intensity "Workout"
Shoveling is hard work, it's not only a job that needs done, but it's a high intensity "work out" that will help you shed those Valentine chocolates from your waistline. According to WebMd, exercise also helps reduce your stress, boost your self-esteem, improve sleep, etc. Keep in mind, we are not talking about merely shoveling off your back steps!
2. Calorie Burner
With high-intensity workouts, comes calorie burn! According to TrueStar Health, a 200 lb man can burn over 400 calories when shoveling for just a half hour. Now that's awesome!
3. Great for Cardiovascular System
While it's easy to get in the habit of more or less hibernating in the winter (don't tell me you haven't turned into a couch potato on cold wintery days), shoveling is great for your cardiovascular system. It gets your heart pumpin!
Shoveling doesn't just get your heart rate up, but it also helps tone and develop new muscles, according to ehow.com. Every time you lift up your heavy, snow laden shovel, just think "gotta impress the ladies, gotta impress the ladies."
5. Vitamin D
While outdoors, you're getting yourself a dose of Vitamin D, which many lack during the winter months. Vitamin D also helps prevent the cold and flu, according to The Center for Unhindered Living.
Shoveling for a half hour can give you the same feeling as you get from working out at the gym – thanks to endorphins! According to WebMD, endorphins diminish perceptions of pain and will make you end up feeling more positive or even "euphoric."
Congrats, you did it! You can see the work that your two hands have accomplished and nothing is more satisfying than knowing that it's finally done! And thanks to winter winds, you will be able to shovel again and again the following days and get your daily dose of satisfaction! ;)
While I joke about not warming up before going out to shovel, safety is obviously #1. Be careful not to overexert yourself, stay hydrated and warm. According to ehow.com, "people with heart or other serious medical conditions should avoid the activity altogether."
Stay warm, my friends!