Winter Workout - How Many Calories Can You Burn Shoveling Snow?

If you think shoveling snow isn't much of a workout, we found some research that says otherwise! Find out just what the benefits are!

Shoveling snow

Winter can be a tough season to get up and get moving. But with snow comes the need to shovel, and that can actually be a great way to get some exercise while you’re taking care of necessary tasks. So how many calories do you burn shoveling snow? Let’s take a look at what science has to say about it.

Is Shoveling Snow A Good Workout

Shoveling is an intense activity that helps you build upper body strength and aerobic endurance. Depending on the weight of the snow, your intensity level, and how much time you spend shoveling, your calorie burn will vary.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound person who spends 30 minutes shoveling snow can expect to burn around 250 calories – the equivalent of playing doubles tennis or running half a mile. A 185-pound person will burn around 300 calories in those same 30 minutes, while someone who weighs 125 pounds would only burn around 200 calories in the same amount of time.

It’s important to note that these are just estimates; factors like age, sex, intensity level (i.e., whether you’re just pushing light powdery snow or heavier wet stuff) have an effect as well. However, even if you don’t hit these exact numbers when you go out for a session of snow-shoveling, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t beneficial for your health – any form of physical activity is good for you!

Staying Safe

When doing any type of physical activity – especially one as vigorous as shoveling – keep safety in mind too. Make sure to warm up before getting started by stretching your arms and legs for 5-10 minutes so that your muscles are ready for action.

Also keep hydrated throughout the task by drinking plenty of water; dehydration can lead to fatigue quickly when performing any kind of exercise outdoors in cold temperatures. And lastly, be aware of ergonomic techniques when lifting heavy loads so that you don’t strain any muscles or joints in the process.


Shoveling snow is an effective way to stay active during winter months while also taking care of necessary tasks around the house! While calorie counts may vary depending on several factors mentioned above, most adults can expect to burn between 200-300 calories in 30 minutes if they are pushing moderate amounts of powdery or wet snow with proper technique. Just remember not overexert yourself and always practice safety first! Happy shoveling!