Shoveling snow can be a functional way of clearing a path and an excellent chance to get some outdoor exercise during the cold winter season. On the other hand, it can be a potential health risk. Knowing a few crucial details can go a long way toward staying happy and healthy this snowy season.
1. Proper Body Position: Like most activities, the way in which you use your body can be either help or hurt.
- Give your back a break and use your legs and hips to do the work.
- Avoid twisting, turn entire body to dump the snow
- Keep shovel handle in near stomach not way out to the side
2. Don’t Over Do It: Most have heard of someone having a heart attack while shoveling. This is a big concern but not the only one. Beware of muscle strains, tearing knee meniscus or ligaments, Shoulder injuries, and overheating (to name a few). Listen to your body.
- Take it slow
- Take breaks
- Do not over load the shovel
- If it is too much or too deep don’t be afraid to ask for help!
3. Dress Appropriately: Wearing layers can help to stay at the correct temperature. If you are sweating, shed a few items. If you do not dress warm enough than go back inside and either put more on or warm up for a bit.
4. Stay Hydrated…that means water: Even if you do not feel like you are sweating it is important to stay well hydrated. Doing so before and after shoveling will help.
5. Use the Correct Equipment: Using the correct tool for the job can make the job a lot easier. So can wearing the correct footwear. A boot with good traction (or a traction slip on) can make the job a lot safer and easier.
And the same rules apply for Snow Blowing!