10 Reasons To Shovel In The Middle Of A Nor’easter

I don’t know about your Nor’easter, but my Nor’easter is dumping really fluffy snow! So lovely, that when I went out to feed the birds (those little flying mosquito-eaters), I shoveled a bit.bird - Copy

“What?” you say. “Shovel now?”

Of course shovel now. Now, in the middle of the storm.  Whoot! Whoot! 

10 Benefits

1. The snow is not as deep now, so the shovel loads are lighter.

2. You get a full body exercise now and at the end of the storm.

3. Your metabolism gets revved up for a day of being snowed in, while working on your latest book.

4. You spend a few moments in nature and feel her awesome power, a very humbling experience.

5. At the end of the storm, the snow will not be as deep so the shovel loads will be lighter.

6. You will be fitting in exercise twice today.

7. Introduce your kids to Mother Nature’s awesome power, instead of them viewing it through the window like they were watching it on TV.

8. Increasing movement increases the amount of lubrication to your joints.

9. Your lymph will move, which will rid your body of waste faster.

10. You will sleep more soundly after exercising.


10 Problems

1. You have no boots, gloves, hats, scarves, winter coats or shovels… You’re excused from shoveling, but you are not off the hook. Put on fun music and dance around until they come to dig you out.

2. According to Newton’s concept of inertia, a body at rest will stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force.  Hence, “I don’t wanna go outside…”**insert appropriate whiny tone**

coat3. Your hat, scarf, mittens, coat, pants, socks and books will get all wet. (C’mon! boots - CopyThat’s what the back of the kitchen chairs is for; and leaving out snow-crusted clothing to dry will put moisture into the indoor air.)


4. You will feel compelled to have a cup of hot chocolate afterwards (Note to self: Move 2+3 to “Benefits”)

5. Hmmmm. Nothing’s coming to me. I think you are going to have to make up the rest yourself.hot choc

All right, then. Go shovel early in the storm. Come back inside, and for the next 6-8 hours, alternately rest up and wiggle. Then gather the family for a second round of shoveling.

Wiggle Writer says this is how you turn shoveling from resulting in an overuse injury into a healthy full body workout:

FORM IS EVERYTHING!  If you cannot hold the proper form, REST. Do not compromise on this point, especially if you lead a sedentary life behind a computer or in front of a TV.

1. Bend from the Knees. Squat as low as you can, but don’t let your knees stick out past your toes.

2. Tighten your core.

3. Shove the shovel  (so that’s where it got its name) into the light fluffy snow. (BTW, these are fluffy snow directions. Packed snow is approached in an entirely different way.) Exhale as you shove, then inhale.

4. With your core tight, straighten your legs to a standing position. Exhale as you stand.

5. Tighten your core and toss the snow out of the way. Exhale as you toss.

6. Tighten your core and repeat on the other side. (Oh yeah, do some inhaling in there, too.)

7. Take a breather every 5 minutes or so. Look around at the beautiful whiteout.

Did I mention FORM IS EVERYTHING!  If you cannot hold the proper form, REST. Do not compromise on this point, especially if you lead a sedentary life behind a computer or in front of a TV. Just like a competitive weightlifter, pause in between sets!


The way to avoid an overuse injury (back, shoulders, etc.) is to change it up. If you have ever taken an exercise class, you know they do repetitions of a move 4-15 times (depending on the effort required), then switch to another exercise. They also change the number of repetitions. The same goes for weightlifting. They change it up to build muscle and avoid overuse injuries.

Following the example set by the fitness industry, change up your shoveling style. Switch sides. Move your hands on the shovel. Add a twist at the waist when dumping the snow to give your arms a rest. Squat to different depths. Vary the width between your feet. Put one foot slightly more forward, then switch.  Variety is the spice of life.birds - Copy

What other benefits can you see about shoveling twice? How about disadvantages?