As the weather becomes colder and the days become shorter, the snow begins to fall. Inevitably, shoveling snow is right around the corner. Although shoveling is never fun, it is important it is done right to avoid injury. Here are some tips for safe shoveling! Ice is applied exclusively to help decrease swelling/inflammation, decrease blood flow, reduce muscle spasms and alleviate bruising and pain.
- Don’t let snow pile up: Don’t wait until morning or until the snow has stopped. Get ahead of the snow so you can move smaller amounts at a time and decrease the weight you are lifting.
- Pick the right shovel: Make sure the shovel is the right height for you and use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. As well, think about investing in a shovel handle attachment which can allow for easier lifting and pushing.
- Avoid lifting and twisting: Keep the shovel in front of you at all times, push the snow forward and not to the side.
- Push, don’t throw: Avoid picking the snow up and throwing it, just push
- Bend your knees: Use your knees and legs and bend through your hips while keeping your low back in neutral position.
- Warm up: We would warm up before we exercise at the gym, so we should warm up before shoveling! Walking on the spot, jumping jacks and light stretching are good ideas to warm up.
- Take breaks: Don’t wait until you start feeling pain or extremely tired to take a break. Stop every 5 minutes to catch your breath and change positions.