Aside from the less than stellar travel conditions, one of the biggest gripes associated with substantial snowfall is shoveling. For those who aren’t fortunate enough to own a snow blower — or live in an area where snow removal is complimentary — the only option is to dig out with a shovel. The labor-intensive task can result in injury if not done properly. To make sure that doesn’t happen, shovelers should read the following tips so they don’t throw their backs out clearing the driveway this year, courtesy of Bobvila.com and WPVI-TV:
Before You Go Outside
1. Make sure you have the proper shovel. One that is curved with an adjustable handle is the best way to avoid injury.
2. Warm up. Do jumping jacks or any cardiovascular disease that will get the blood flowing for at least 10 minutes before you go outside. Don’t forget to stretch, too.
3. If possible, try to push the snow instead of lifting it.
It’s Time To Shovel
7. Once you have the right shovel and have warmed up enough, it’s time to brave the snow. Start with the easy spots, if there are any. It will add to your warm-up.
8. Face the snow you are going to shovel and keep your hips and shoulders square.
9. Squat by bending your knees to get low. Use your leg muscles to lift the snow, not your lower back.
10. Instead of attacking the snow by removing large lumps, remove small amounts more frequently.
11. Don’t toss the snow. Move it to a new location.
Bonus Tips: Take breaks and start shoveling as early as possible. It’s much easier to get rid of snow a little bit at a time. If a significant amount of snow has fallen, take a break every 15 minutes so you don’t get worn out and remember to stretch legs and arms again. Also, drink water. Staying hydrated will prevent possible injuries.
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