Snow shoveling and removal are intensive. But it can also be a great workout! You don’t realize how much your body really is working. You start out cold and end up sweating. Most importantly, you need to know how to shovel snow properly to prevent pain, strain, or injury. Furthermore, prepare for the conditions. So, let’s understand how to take the danger out of shoveling snow by learning safety tips and precautions.
Develop A Plan Before Shoveling Snow
First, clear a path to your car and around your car so it can drive. Then, if you have an emergency and need your car, you will have it ready. It is important to do this first before the rest of the snow.
Clear any snow near the vents of your house, like the dryer, air conditioner heating unit. Shovel around any hydrants in case of emergency and sewers that need to drain the street.
Prepare to Shovel
Dress appropriately. It is essential to have suitable snow and anti-cold attire. Using a ski suit works really well. It will keep your body warm, and you will not have to worry about wet snow. Ski suits are cold and damp resistant. Also, make sure your jacket, gloves, and boots are good. Your extremities will get colder than the core of your body.
Warm-up. Prepare your body for the intensity of shoveling. Beforehand, you can do some jumping jacks or stretching to help warm up your body. Or, you can start shoveling slowly before you pick up the pace. Treat shoveling snow as a form of exercise and physical activity, although it is seen as a chore. For me, it is perfect for training.
How to Shovel Snow
The proper shoveling technique is essential. Knowing how to do it will prevent injury. When shoveling snow, do not lift with your back. Make sure you bend your knees and lift with your legs to throw the snow. Grip near the shovel, at the bottom of the stick. This will give you the best leverage to lift more weight easily. Bend your knees lean over keeping your back straight and not rounded. Lift the snow at the same time straightening your legs, tossing the snow. This technique and grabbing the handle at the bottom will also reduce strain on your back. Most time, shoveling injuries occur due to not using the legs and rounding the spine.
With lighter snow, you can shuck it. Grab the handle at the top, stand more upright, and shuck your feet quickly with the snow. When you build a heavier pile, bend the knees, lift and throw.
Make sure you do the same amount of reps on the right side as the left side. This will prevent strength asymmetries and misalignment, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal and joint pain and issues.
If there is too much snow, shovel it a few times. Don’t try to load it all up all at once. This will create more strain and tire you out quickly. So, use strength endurance. Or, if you want to train and workout, do one to three heavy loads, then many lighter ones after that. Pace yourself.
If there is wind, toss the snow into the wind. It will help lighten the load and disperse it.
Be safe, and don’t overdo it. Try to have fun and stay warm in the cold temperatures. You must make sure you are sweating and warm during physical activity in the cold. Cold arteries and veins can cause a heart attack, make you blackout and faint.
If you have any discomfort or pain in your chest or feel short of breath, stop and call for help.e o
After shoveling snow, take a few minutes to cool down outside. You should not be cold. Even shoveling snow in the coldest temperatures will make you sweat. After you have cooled down, enter the house. It would help if you did not have any temperature shock due to being warm. When you are ready, sit down, relax and have a hot chocolate, tea, or coffee.