Living in New England we all have done our share of snow shoveling. The worst part is shoveling snow at home and hurting ourselves and then having to deal with pain throughout our work day, and at times even seek medical attention. This post will help give you an idea of how to safely shovel snow to attempt to reduce injuries.
How do I Start?
Before you start doing the shoveling you should always perform some type of warm up for your body ie: marching in place, walking, and even a hot shower can help.Once you have warmed up your body remember that it is helpful to stretch to help improve flexibility.
The Task at Hand
When shoveling snow try to find a shovel that fits you best, some have longer shafts and blades and some also have curved blades to help with carrying and lifting snow. Things to remember while moving/shoveling snow:
1) Always bend at the knee's and not your back.
2) Always try to shovel snow in front you without twisting
3) It's better for to lift multiple small amounts vs one large amount of snow
4) Always try to Push vs Lift snow
5) If you must lift snow, always keep one hand close to the blade of shovel and other hand on handle of shovel. Always try to avoid throwing snow, but if you must never twist.
In Conclusion: As is important with any activity always make sure you keep hydrated when shoveling. If you feel yourself becoming fatigued and sore, take frequent breaks as needed and perform stretches for the neck/back/shoulder. Always remember it is easier to shovel smaller amounts that it is larger amounts so move the snow early and often. Should you ever obtain injuries from shoveling always seek advice from a Physical Therapist or Doctor to ensure these do not become long lasting injuries.
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