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Feb-19-2013 13:29printcomments

Fitness and the Value of Everyday Activities

From a fitness perspective, shoveling is one way to increase physical activity.

Shoveling for fitness

(NIAGRA FALLS) - After experiencing the Snow Storm of 2013 I realized the importance of fitness in relation to everyday activities as well as the value of everyday activities in relation to fitness. Bottom-line simple daily activities like shoveling snow can be a great workout if you handle it properly!

The same can be said for digging in your garden, putting up fence posts, or any type of summer, fall, spring or winter shoveling!

From a fitness perspective, shoveling is one way to increase physical activity. For a 170-pound person, 30 minutes of shoveling dirt or snow can burn around 250 calories. Shoveling snow for 40 minutes got my heart rate up to 135 and I broke a sweat. However, I would never have shoveled for 40 minutes unless I was exercising 3 to 4 days a week.

Shoveling is great way to strengthen your cardiovascular system, and, because snow, dirt, sand and gravel are heavy, shoveling is like lifting weights. Shoveling can help you build lean muscle mass, which also helps you burn more calories. Like any exercise, consult with your doctor to ensure you’re fit enough to do it.

On the negative side, each year thousands of young and older individuals are treated in hospital emergency rooms in the winter, spring, summer and fall with shoveling related injuries. Like fitness in general, you need to be capable of the activity and you need to build up to different levels of longevity.

Following are a few tips for “shoveling”:

1. Don’t dig or shovel - if You are Not Physically Fit

Digging and shoveling anything can strain your heart and back. Try to avoid the job if you aren’t in good physical shape, overweight or have a history of back or heart problems.

2. Shoveling is exercise so warm Up Your Muscles before You Shovel

As with any physically demanding exercise, before you begin shoveling, do warm-up stretches and flexing exercises.

3. Lighten the Load with the correct Tools

Shovel should be lightweight and the blade shouldn’t be too large no matter what you are shoveling.

4. Dress appropriate for Shoveling

In the winter, layer your clothing so you allow perspiration to escape from the skin and not be trapped in your clothing and in the summer wear a hat and lose clothing to avoid sun stroke and overheating!

5. Pace Yourself

Shoveling can be as strenuous as weightlifting. Shoveling is going to increase your heart rate and make you sweat and the trick is to shovel efficiently without becoming fatigued pace yourself.

7. Face – Don’t Twist

Turn your feet to the direction you’re throwing. Don’t twist at the waist. Don’t throw over your shoulder or to the side.

8. Rest and Recover

Take frequent breaks and drink some warm non-alcoholic fluids.

To find more information on Walter Urban and his World and National records please visit

Walter Urban is a Fifty four (54) years old, American born Powerlifter and Guinness World Record holder and challenger living in Canada. He is a member of one of the strongest drug free Powerlifting Team’s in North America, the Iron Foundation, 19 to 54, male and female. Walter is currently training to attempt breaking two new Guinness World Records in 2012. For more information on Walter visit

Walter Urban’s unique story of motivation and inspiration is supported by a core message of team work – assembling a team, developing a project plan, implementing the plan and executing and adhering to the plan - accomplishing the goal of breaking a Guinness World Record.

The husband and father of three girls 12, 9 and 5 is a US Citizen living and working in Canada. A competitive powerlifter for over 15 years competing in the 75 kg 165 lbs. weight class, Walter was a member of the Canadian Masters Powerlifting Team 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, competing in World Championships in South Africa, Ostrava Czech Republic and Plzen Czech Republic. His best finish was 6th place at the 2010 World Championships in Plzen Czech Republic. Walter has been a dedicated member of GoodLife Fitness Club for over 15 years where he trains regularly.

The World Record was accomplished by developing the “total” athlete as part of the team - mental, physical, internal and external.

Friday September 17 2011: 53-year-old Walter Urban set a new Guinness World Record for the most amount of weight squat lifted in one hour – drug free - on LIVE! with Regis and Kelly. The former record was 125,065 lbs, set in 2009 by a 32-year-old man. Walter’s goal was to lift 126,000 lbs which was to be accomplished by completing 700 to 1000 squats in one hour or 11 to 17 squats per minute for 60 minutes. Not only did he meet his goal, but he surpassed it and lifted 127, 245 lbs! The Guinness World Record representative said that this weight was “equivalent to approximately 20 African Elephants.”

When asked by Regis what motivated Walter to do this, Urban’s reply was “to show that you can be healthy, fit and strong at any age…even into your 90’s. You can be strong without the use of performance enhancing drugs, and finally…he likes a challenge!”

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