NOTE: This entry was published in the January 29, 2013 edition of the Kings County Record. I really did do all this in one day, and as many calories as I burned, it probably paled in comparison to a few days prior when my father and I pulled the kids uphill to a nearby sliding spot and vista. I hope you enjoy the read. BW
I've heard people say "I always put weight on in the winter because I'm not as active." While I used to agree, I'm not so sure now lately that it's true. You might not think you're active in the winter time but even the simple things in winter time burn calories. I got curious after an exceptional day out with the kids. "How many calories did I burn today?"
Let me start by saying, it was a really exceptional day. The weather was excellent, the company was enthusiastic. The snow had fallen the night before and was fluffy and light, thank goodness. My first task was shoveling the driveway and it took me a little more than half an hour. Just on this task alone I burned approximately 200 calories. At this juncture I should state that I can not guarantee the calculations on calories as I didn't make them but rather pulled them off of a website.
Shortly after shoveling I took the kids out and built a snow man in the backyard. I couldn't believe it when I calculated (looked it up) the calories I burned here. Think about it you're bending over and packing the snow, rolling the snow balls, and then lifting the snow balls to the top. If it takes you an hour to build your snow man, first off you build quicker than I do, but secondly you'll burn 285 calories. My total calorie burn so far this day, 485.
After a healthy lunch with soup and a sandwich, I got the kids dressed to go out again. By the way, that might burn more calories than anything I did this day. I won't count it though. With our gear on we grabbed our sleds and went sliding. Now everyone knows that sliding is half play and half work. On the ride down you barely burn a calorie but on the way up you burn a bunch. According to a couple of different web sources, a person can burn more than 470 calories during an hour of sliding. Of course, I think the slope and length of the sliding hill might have a role to play in the number of calories you burn.
As we finished sliding we sat at the bottom of the hill giggling and making snow angels. Hey, how many calories do you think you burn doing that? I have no idea. I heard it said though that you burn a calorie a minute when you laugh. Being outside and playing gives you lots to laugh at and makes it easy to burn calories without event thinking about it.
If you are searching for things to do outside during the winter, February 8-9 is the Sussex Corner Winter Carnival. This is a full day of family fun and calorie burning activities. I'll be leading a snow shoe trek to the Bluff on the evening of the 8th and I guarantee lots of calorie burn. If this interests you meet up at Sullivan Park at 7:30 that night and we'll make our way to the wonderful night time view from above Trout Creek. If you think you can do it, you can do it.