Once upon a time I would never have substituted shoveling for a workout. I would never have substituted anything for my workout. If I was going to go hiking (unless of course it was a full day hike like Mt. Washington leaving no time to add and extra workout) for a few hours, I would still go for a run or a swim or weight lift. If I had to shovel or really thoroughly clean a house for hours, I would never have allowed it to replace my workout.

Now I seem totally willing to let daily activities take the place of my workout. Well, at least a little. I suppose I wouldn’t be writing this if I felt it truly replaced my workout.

It isn’t just that I feel like shoveling 20-inches of snow, for example, has suddenly become a good, challenging workout, it’s that there are only so many hours in a day. If I have to shovel our driveway, walkways, and sidewalk, I usually don’t have time for my regular workout routine too. (Although I must admit, sometimes I do. In last week’s snow storm I made time for a little R&R, but no additional exercise. Then again I shoveled for about two hours, and that was only because a neighbor came to help us with a snow blower. If he didn’t come over I think Matt and I might still be shoveling today!)

I’m not sure why I can’t just except that two hours of shoveling is a completely rational and justifiable workout. The reason we workout today is because our lives tend to be more sedentary than our ancestors. If we spent each day shoveling, or plowing a field, or riding a horse, or washing our clothes by hand, or walking miles each way to get to town, we wouldn’t need to workout. But our lives have changed and now that a machine can do practically all of those things for us, we need to make specific time to move our bodies.

But on days when nature and life force us to get a workout, I’m pretty sure it counts. Not to mention, according to sparkpeolple’s website, I burned 342 calories per hour shoveling snow. Not to shabby.