6 Tips for Snow Shoveling and Safety
6 Tips for Snow Shoveling Safety
As the weather gets colder in the Midwest, it means one thing...SNOW!
Be sure to consider these tips before you get started shoveling:
- Warm up
- Lift with your legs
- Know your limits
- Use proper tools
- Switch sides regularly
- Exercise year round
Shoveling uses many muscles in your body including: arms, shoulders, legs and your upper and lower back.
Warming up with a few gentle stretching exercises and a short walk around the block before you even pick up the shovel could save you pain tomorrow.
Healthy Tips: A 10 minute walk will also help you enjoy the season.
Lift With Your Legs
It is very important to have proper technique as your shovel, especially if you have wet, heavy snow. Avoid lifting a full shovel of snow using your back muscles. Instead, bend your knees and lift with your legs, keep your back aligned, try to stand as straight as is comfortable with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart.
In addition, you should avoid twisting your upper torso because it can aggravate the muscles in your back. Instead, turn your whole body.
Know Your Limits
Ease into winter clean up and take regular breaks every 15-20 minutes.
Stop, walk around, stretch and enjoy some hot chocolate.
These frequent breaks will give you time to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy the winter weather.
Use Proper Tools
One of the main concerns with shoveling is bending over and hunching your back. To avoid this, be sure to find a shovel that is the appropriate height and weight. This will prevent you from feeling the need to hunch over.
Before buying equipment, test it out in the store to see how it feels, and make sure it is the proper size for you and the type of work that will be done.
Healthy Tips: Try out new tools in the store to test for comfort.
Switch Sides Regularly
Like dribbling a basketball, people tend to favor one hand or side of their body when they’re shoveling. To avoid using the same muscles to do the same movement repetitively, try switching sides every few minutes to avoid muscle fatigue.
Healthy Tips: Use both sides when you shovel to avoid injuries.
People who exercise year round are less likely to injure themselves while doing outdoor chores, as their muscles are more accustomed to physical activity.
Healthy Tips: Get outside and enjoy the snow with a winter walk!
This material is presented for informational and educational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider before beginning any exercise program. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your health care provider. ADVANCED PAIN MANAGEMENT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THESE MATERIALS WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS.