Snow shoveling is no easy task. It taxes even the healthiest among us. Special care should be taken when shoveling snow to avoid serious injury to one’s back and health.
Always stretch your body prior to beginning a snow shoveling project. You wouldn’t walk into an aerobics class and immediately begin a complicated routine without a warm up period and you shouldn’t begin your snow shoveling without a warm up routine either. Reach high over your head and stretch those muscles, bend down and touch your toes and move your arms from one side of your body to the other.
Use the proper equipment. Proper equipment makes any job easier to complete. There are many sizes and styles of snow shovels. Try several out at your local hardware store prior to your final purchase. You should neither stoop too far forward or have to reach too high up to use the handle on your snow shovel.
Using a smaller snow shovel may take a bit longer but you’ll be lifting less weight which could save you a lot of pain in the long run. Consider an ergonomic snow shovel style and test out how that model would feel.
If you feel silly in the store trying out the shovel as a store clerk if they have any specific recommendations. Chances are they can share with you why they like a specific style of snow shovel. Perhaps you’ll even get an opportunity to see what they use in the front of their store to remove snow.
Begin your snow shoveling slowly and deliberately. There is no rush to get it all done at once. Start slow and move forwards at a comfortable pace. Take frequent breaks and drink water to rehydrate yourself as you go.
Dress in layers so that when you warm up you’ll be able to remove a layer or two as you complete your job. Cold muscles have a harder time recovering than warm muscles and can be injured easier. Dressing in layers will help to prevent this damage to your muscles.
Whenever possible, push the snow rather than lift. Pushing takes less effort and will use less muscles. Lifting can strain already sore muscles and cause damage requiring long recovery time. If you are shoveling instead of pushing the snow lift correctly. Stand with your feet approximately hip width apart and keep the snow shovel close to your body. Bend from your knees not from your back. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift and remove the snow being careful to not twist your torso as you throw the snow elsewhere. Move your body as needed to relocate the snow rather than twisting your body to throw the snow out of your path.
If you’re over tired or have over exerted yourself stop. If your muscles are sore, stop. This will prevent further damage to your body. Following these tips will help you to prevent back injury when shoveling snow.