Several areas of the country are enjoying some snowfall, making the holidays even more cheerful. It is not only tiring to dig out from a heavy snow, it can be dangerous, resulting in a trip to emergency room. Here are some tips to avoiding injury when shoveling the powdery white flakes.
Step 1: If you have heart or back problems, request that someone else do the heavy shoveling. If you are forced to do it yourself, understand your limits and do not exceed them.
Step 2: Shoveling has been compared to quickly and repeatedly lifting heavy weights. It is recommended that shovelers do warm up exercises before attacking the sidewalk or driveway. Marching in place, a brief walk, back stretching, and arm movements should be included in the routine.
Step 3: Dress appropriately and in layers. You can adjust to the outside temperature when you wear layers. If a lot of shoveling lies ahead, cover all skin to prevent frostbite.
Step 4: Use a small shovel with a curved handle. A shovel containing wet snow may weigh as much as 15 pounds. Using a small shovel ensures a light load, which may prevent injury.
Step 5: Separate your hands when holding the shovel. Creating space between the hands increases the leverage on the shovel.
Step 6: Lift using the legs, not the back, Make sure the knees bend and straighten to lift the shovel rather than leaning forward and straightening the back.
Step 7: Do several rounds of shoveling, instead of waiting until the snow pile has appeared. Shovel after every two inches of snow.
Step 8: Pushing the snow is better and easier for the back than lifting the white stuff. Never throw snow over the shoulder.
Step 9: Pace yourself, taking breaks. Do some gentle leg, arm, and back stretching prior to resuming the task.