There’s much to look forward to during the winter. The snow makes everything seem beautiful. There are skiing and snowboarding, along with building snowmen and running in the peaceful scenery. However, despite all the magic that snow can bring, it can also bring a nightmare. Car accidents go up during this time as road conditions grow harsh and dangerous. Ice presents another danger for those on foot. The most common problem, however, is shoveling pounds of snow for sometimes hours on end.
Millions of Americans battle the elements every winter to get out of their driveways. But many will end up sore, in pain, and with a back injury. If you shovel snow properly, you can avoid the pain. And, believe it or not, but there is a proper way to shovel snow.
Warm Up And Cool Down
Even though shoveling snow seems more like a chore than a workout, you’re still working your muscles as if you’re at the gym. Snow shoveling is a lot of exercise and burns a lot of calories – a definite plus for those looking for some extra workout time. However, if you don’t warm up as if you’re getting ready for a training workout, you could end up more sore, in more pain, and even possibly injured. It’s even more important to warm your muscles up as you’re heading out in the damp cold, which can constrict your muscles and make it difficult to move freely, thereby increasing your risk of injury. So treat shoveling show as if you’re working out by warming up and cooling down properly.
Use The Right Kind Of Shovel
Don’t use a shovel that’s too small for you as that can increase bending, thereby putting more pressure on your lower back and knees. Using a shovel that has a curved handle as well as adjustable handle length will help minimize the effort that goes into shoveling. Furthermore, using a shovel that is lightweight will also help take some effort out of snow shoveling.
Lift Properly When You Shovel Snow
You’ve heard it time and again by experts, but many people still lift using their lower back instead of their knees and core support. Keep your body square with your hips when shoveling as this decreases twisting, which can cause more pain and soreness in the back and shoulders. Also, lift lighter loads. Your neighbor across the way may be lifting 10x more than you and get done quicker, but you’ll have the last laugh when he’s in pain and you’re not. The last tip is to not throw the snow like most people do. Deposit the snow by walking and dumping as that decreases both twisting and jerking your muscles. Furthermore, keep your feet planted on the ground for a steady base and wear proper footwear to minimize slipping.
Take A Break
It’s not a race with the neighbor to see who can get done quicker. Pace yourself and you’ll be able to avoid strain, pain, soreness, and a back injury. As you grow weaker and more tired, you’re more likely to lose proper form, which increases your risk of an injury.