By MELISSA PROULX, Staff Writer
Being a little over 5 feet tall certainly has its limitations. I’ll never know what the top shelf looks like and I’ll always know where to find the step stools in any home goods shop in case mine ever goes missing.
Nonetheless, I’m faced withshoveling snow whose banks are able to stare me in the eyes.
Like anyone living in New England, I spent most of my Wednesday morning shoveling my car out from the snow cocoon that encased it after enduring the elements of Juno, the historic blizzard that dumped roughly 2 feet of snow across the state.
By the end, my legs were soaked, my handles were trembling, my back felt like it had been weighed down with bricks and I was sure that my bones had turned into icicles.
Despite the fact that I’m French Canadian and grew up in New Hampshire, winter will never be in my blood no matter how much I try to tell myself otherwise.
Freezing conditions and the (in my opinion) minor complaints aside, I did have a good workout.
According to an article published by the “Today” show on the health section of their website, snow shoveling can burn up to an incredible 500 calories an hour, which makes it a great cardio workout coupled with some strength building.
This is partially due to the cold weather. Because of the lower temperatures, your body must work hard in order to keep a stable core temperature, according to an article published on Huffingtonpost.com that outlines benefits of exercising in the winter. As a result, your body burns more calories. The article also lists other health benefits to shoveling such as an increase of Vitamin D, which boosts mental health and the immune system.
While physically the health benefits to shoveling are numerous, it’s a great exercise in something else as well: being a good Samaritan.
My roommate, Nicole, and I live in an off-campus apartment and park in a municipal lot just a few blocks over. Nicole came home from work today to multiple parking spots in the usually packed lot, but with one big problem. Several small mounds of snow prevented her from getting into any of them, and ultimately, Nicole got stuck.
There were many others out there cleaning off their cars as well, but few offered her any help. Nicole wasn’t fazed and paid it forward, helping an older woman clearing off her car once she had finished with hers.
She said that she had wanted to help someone after so many had just watched her. It was cold
and she had forgot her gloves at work, but she still took time out of her day to help this stranger
through this challenging exercise.
On a cold, cold winter day, it’s stories like these that can warm you up and serve as a good
addition to some much needed Vitamin D.
So with two more snow storms coming in the near future, don’t be afraid to grab a shovel and
step outside. It’s hard work, but your physical and mental well-being will benefit.
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