Fitness Tips: Sweeping the calories away, tips from Olympic curling team | CraigDailyPress.com

Fitness Tips: Sweeping the calories away, tips from Olympic curling team

Craig Press staff report

Curling stones and brooms are available at Loudy-Simpson Park Ice Arena for drop-in and league play.

The sport of curling has once again captured the curiosity of many Americans watching the 2018 Winter Olympics. The craze arrived in Craig about five years ago, as one of the activities on offer at the Loudy-Simpson Park Ice Arena.

The sport is similar to shuffleboard or horseshoes, as two teams of four players each try to slide heavy, polished stones, across the ice towards a circular target marked on the ice. Brooms are used by a pair of sweepers to change the surface of the ice to help the stone more accurately land in the target. And according to Men’s Fitness, strong sweeping is the difference between winning and losing, and strong sweepers spend a lot of time in the gym on weight and cardio training.

Three days per week in the weight room, the U.S. Olympic Curling team focuses on squats, cleans and deadlifts to help improve the force athletes can apply to the broom, and three days per week, athletes focus on interval cardio training designed to mimic the stop-start of sweeping during a curling match.

"We will do a lot of 20 (seconds) on and 40 off, or 30 and 30, or 40 and 20 to simulate sessions for the sweepers, to get them used to that high heart-rate cardio activity," USA Curling Head Athletic Trainer Brian McWilliams told Men’s Fitness.

It’s not necessary to join the local curling league or earn a place on the Olympic team to reap the benefits of sweeping. Household choirs such as sweeping and mopping can burn a little less than 200 upwards of more than 300 calories per hour, according to calorielab.com.