Calorie counter – calculation is for a 140-pound person for one hour.
Think shovelling the driveway is a pain in the back? It can be—especially when you hurry. But shovelling can also build muscles. And it’s an excellent fat burner if you slow down, chat with the neighbours, and turn shovelling into a lower-intensity aerobic activity for 20 or 30 minutes. “Do it slowly and consistently, maintaining good posture. This will challenge your cardiovascular system, plus it’s burning fat,” says Scott MacKinnon, an associate professor of human kinetics and recreation at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Tips: Switch sides! Work your left and right sides equally. Buy a smaller shovel to avoid too-large loads. Use your knees to lift, and avoid bending or twisting your back.
Calories burned: 382
Playing in the snow
Snow-day shenanigans like building a fort, making a snowman or snowball target practice use snow as a resistance force to give you a tougher workout. “The advantages of playing in the snow are similar to aqua aerobics. You’re going to expend more energy wrestling with your kids in the snow than if you’re wrestling on the lawn,” says MacKinnon. Playtime benefits your cardiovascular health, builds muscle, and as a bonus, it gets the kids off the couch.
Tips: Dress for the cold (and don’t stick your tongue to a frozen flag pole).
Calories burned: 255
Whee! The ride down is a breeze, but climbing up the hill with your sled or toboggan is a real workout. “You’re walking uphill against gravity, pulling a load, maybe pulling your child along,” says MacKinnon. That builds muscle and challenges your cardiovascular system. Plus, it’s another chance to show your family how much fun active living can be.
Tips: Skating helmets protect the heads of kids and adults alike. Dress warmly and bring something to drink.
Calories burned: 445
Chances are, your trip to the mall is more stroll than power walk, but you can make shopping a workout for your legs as well as your wallet. “Use the mall as an indoor walking space, and treat the store windows as a distraction,” suggests MacKinnon. Park at the far end of the parking lot, take the stairs instead of the escalator, or do mall circuits before you shop.
Tips: Watch your back and avoid bending too far into the trunk of the car when stashing heavy bags.
Calories burned: 146
Sometimes you just want to get really, really warm. Forget winter with a yoga class in a studio heated to about 37 C. Sometimes known by brand names like Bikram or Moksha, hot yoga shares the advantages of other yoga classes—“there’s the obvious benefits of flexibility, balance and posture,” says MacKinnon—plus the heat makes your muscles more supple, so you’ll feel stretchier than usual.
Tips: Like saunas, hot yoga isn’t for everyone—consult your doctor before participating if you think the exertion might be too much for you. Some yoga studios will turn away pregnant women, children, and people with heart problems. This activity is also not recommended for people with hypertension.
Calories burned: 445