Best Snow Shoveling Techniques to Help Avoid Injuries
When snow falls, it certainly looks pretty as it blankets the ground. However, that excitement is short-lived when you have to shovel the snow off your driveway and walkways.
Many people dread this chore because it leaves them sore and aching. The older you get, the more excruciating it can be, and the more prone you will be to injuries. At any age though, failing to use proper shoveling techniques can cause you to tear tender muscles and ligaments or hurt your back.
Use these tips for safe snow shoveling until spring arrives.
Warm Up First
Most people look at shoveling snow as a chore rather than as exercise. You may grumble about taking on this task, but it is a form of exercise, and that means you should warm up those muscles before you go outside with your snow shovel. Try doing side bends or walking in place for a few minutes first.
Push Instead of Lift
Whenever possible, push the snow with your shovel. This reduces the strain on your body and minimizes injuries.
Bend Your Knees
Snow may look light and fluffy, but when you try to lift a shovel full of it, it’s much heavier. You must obey proper lifting techniques, much as you would with weights or with a heavy package. Bend your knees and rely on your legs for lifting snow.
Get a Good Shovel
There are ergonomically designed shovels that you should use rather than the classic kinds. These will reduce how much bending you need to do and take much of the strain out of this chore. There are also snow shovels made from lighter-weight materials that will make it easier to lift.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and take a proper break rather than trying to shovel all the snow at once. If you wear yourself out, you will be more likely to get hurt.
Shovel in Intervals
When there’s a big snow storm, you may want to get out there and shovel the snow here and there. This will help reduce how much you have to move all at once. It’s also best to shovel snow soon after it falls. It is lighter and fluffier at this point and much easier to move.
Take Care of Yourself
Make sure you’re dressed properly with plenty of layers before you start shoveling snow. You should also keep up with your hydration as this is a strenuous activity.
Think Outside the Box
When you have so much snow that you’re not sure how to shovel it all, it may be worth investing in a snow blower to get it out of your way. Another option is to use a snow removal service, which is best if you’ve already been injured.
After sustaining an injury from snow shoveling, a physiotherapist can be a tremendous help in your recovery. You won’t have to worry about shoveling your way out of your home though as In Your Home Therapy comes to you at your convenience!