Ice & Snow can be treacherous! Don’t let your back fall victim… here are a few tips to keep you safe.
“According tot he Federal Highway Administration nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in a snowy region.”In other words? A lot of us have to deal with winter storms. Source.
After a snowfall, most people use a snowblower or shovel when clearing snow from the driveway and sidewalks. Believe it or not, although it takes a lot of effort, using a proper snow shoveling technique can be the safer and more enjoyable method to use. And, you might just get your daily workout in through the process!
Here are some tips to make snow shoveling work for you (and your back!):
- Instead of shoveling, picking up, and depositing the snow in another place simply, try pushing it with a shovel that was designed for that specific purpose. This technique is less likely to cause back strain compared to lifting the snow.
- If your preferred method is to shovel-lift the snow, make sure there is a bend in the handle of the shovel to take some pressure off of your back. Keep one hand on the handle and the other near the blade. This balances the weight distribution across your back.
- Make sure your back is straight, knees are bent, and the shovel is held close to your body and utilize your leg muscles to do the heavy lifting.
- To reduce the load, shovel smaller loads and walk to wear the snow is being discarded, instead of tossing it a farther distance.
- Try not to twist your body when throwing snow and use plastic shovels that are lighter and will help reduce the overall weight on your back.
- The best time to shovel is early in the day when the snow less compact and fluffier — before the sun has transformed it to cement.
- Even if you can’t easily see the ice, the ground is going to be frozen and slippery. Use salt, cat litter or sand to help create traction for your snow boots and to keep new ice from forming
- Cover your hands, head, face and neck. Stay dry and wear layers that allow full range of motion while keeping you warm
- Make sure to stretch your entire body before you begin shoveling any snow; and if you start to feel any pain in your back take a break and re-evaluate.
- Take breaks and drink lots of water!
When done properly shoveling is a fun and rewarding process! As always, stay safe during this snowy season!