It appears as if we are going to have a snowy February! I’ve already had some people come in for snow-related injuries, so want to reach out with some tips to keep you comfortable while moving the white stuff!
1. Warm Up: Think about snow shoveling just like you would any other type of physical activity. Dynamic stretching (stretching where you are moving such as walking lunges) beforehand is a good idea to warm up your muscles and get your body ready for action. Slowly jogging in place is another example of an exercise you can do before heading out.
2. Keep Warm: I know this may seem obvious, but maintaining a good body temperature is important. Dress warmly and layer so you can shed them if you get hot.
3.Keep Up With The Snow: Shoveling multiple times is easier on your body because you are handling a smaller volume of snow each time and are splitting it up into sets. I know that’s not always possible so shovel the snow as soon as you can because fresh snow is lighter and fluffier and will be much easier to move.
4. Get a Good Shovel: Ergonomically designed shovels can be helpful. Also use a plastic shovel rather than a metal one because they are lighter. I also recommend staying away from the chunkier bucket like shovels as they weigh more as well.
5. Push, Don’t Lift: As often as you can, push the snow instead of lifting it. This will be much easier on your body. When you are pushing the snow, make sure the force is coming from your legs, not your back.
6.Bend Your Knees: Let your legs do the lifting, not your back.
7. Steady Movements: Avoid sharp twisting and turning movements.
8. Take Breaks: Take a break every 20-30 minutes. During your break, it’s a good idea to incorporate a few stretches.
9. Stay Hydrated: While taking a break grab something to drink. Getting dehydrated in the winter is easier than you think so take this seriously and keep up with the fluids.
Be safe while shoveling and fingers crossed Spring will come early.