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Shovelling Snow: Canada’s True National Pastime

Lacrosse may be our official national sport and hockey may have stolen our hearts, but when you stop and think about it, there is a pastime that all Canadians participate in. Of course I’m talking about snow shovelling. Consider this: we spend more time digging out our cars than lining up for face offs. So here are some tips to help with your winter workout.

1. Embrace the early morning training sessions

The best time to shovel snow is at 6am before anybody is walking to school or work. This will ensure that you’re the first person on your block to clear your sidewalk and everyone will see how dedicated you are to our national pastime. If you’re also a swimmer, you will be used to this schedule. If you’re not, you may want to have some coffee before heading out…

2. Practice in the off-season

Snow shovelling is like riding a bike. Although you might not forget the mechanics of it, you may get a bit rusty during the summer months. If you find that your first few sessions of the season are slow and make you sore, then you should be doing some off-season training.

At Vida Health & Wellness we recommend tree and shrub planting. Nothing replicates shovelling heavy materials off the ground quite like shovelling heavy materials out of the ground! As a bonus, you and all your neighbours will enjoy the greenery.


3. Get the gear

Canadians are lucky because we already own most of the gear that’s required for snow shovelling. Get out your snow pants, wool socks, boots, parka, gloves, waterproof mittens, scarf, ski goggles, and hat. It’s only -5, you say? Ok. You can leave the goggles inside.

The only item that you’ll need to purchase specifically for this activity is a shovel. You can find one at Canadian Tire for only $20! Much cheaper than hockey gear, especially for goalies.




4. Make the most of your shovelling time

In Calgary, we have a program called Snow Angels. This encourages people to shovel their neighbours’ sidewalks and driveways so that seniors and people with physical limitations don’t have to do it themselves. I say that if you’ve already got the gear on and you’re outside, spend a few extra minutes and do your whole block! Practice makes perfect and you’ll be a snow shovelling champion in no time.

5. Remember to cool down

Have you ever spent 30 minutes shovelling snow, only to get back to your front steps and see them covered in the white stuff? This is a great opportunity to cool down after the vigorous activity. You wouldn’t want to get straight into your car and be stiff all day! Use a broom to brush off the steps and lower your heart rate. If you’re really feeling patriotic, add in a “hurry hard!” while you’re at it.


6. Enjoy the perks

The best part of shovelling snow is when you get inside, take off your wet gear, and sit down for a cup of hot chocolate. Enjoy your well deserved treat.

That’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this tongue in cheek look at snow shovelling. Now if you’ll excuse me, my sidewalk is calling!

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