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Shoveling: Are you doing it right?
The snow season has just started this past weekend and more is on it’s way in the coming weeks. Isn’t that white fluffy stuff so beautiful? While some people, us included, love the snow because it allows us to do some of our favourite activities such as ski, snowboard, build a snowman and drink hot chocolate. But for others, it is a reminder that they need to bust out those snow shovels and get to work. During the winter months snow shoveling can be a real pain in the rear or the back if you’re doing it wrong. Here are some tips to help avoid any injuries in coming months while shoveling.
Warm up before you start
There are two times people are most susceptible to injuring themselves, at the beginning of an activity and when they become fatigued. A quick 10 minute warm up such as a walk around the block is a great way to warm up your muscles prior to shoveling and help prevent injury.
Pick the right shovel
Use a light weight shovel. You want to avoid using a heavy shovel as this will increase your energy output and will be a real pain if the snow gets wet and heavy.
Don’t let the snow pile up
Try not to let the snow pile up as it will take longer to clear the driveway and it will be harder on your body. Doing it more frequently will allow you to push less snow and be easier on your body.
PUSH, don’t throw
Do not throw the snow! Push the snow! This allows you to avoid lifting heavy shovels of snow and avoids any twists or turns while lifting that could cause injury.
If you need to lift, LIFT LIGHT and keep your back STRAIGHT!
We understand that you can’t always just get away with pushing the snow. So when you have to throw some snow, keep it light, keep your back straight and try to avoid any twisting or turning.
Bend your knees
If you need to lift or throw snow bend with your knees and not your back! Let your leg muscles do the work as they are the biggest muscles in your body!
Take a break
It is important to take breaks. If you feel tired or out breath, it is important to take a break as this is the time you are most susceptible to injury. Use this time to stretch or get a drink
Dress for the weather
Remember to dress nice and warm. Don’t be afraid to throw on multiple layers. It is always easier to remove a layer if you get to warm then to run inside and put another one on.
Even though it is cold outside, your body still needs plenty of fluids. Remember you are exercising, so get a drink on one of those breaks you will be taking.
IMPORTANT! Stop shoveling if experience back or chest pain. If your chest pain is severe, see a medical doctor immediately. If you are experiencing back pain after shoveling, feel free to contact us to book an appointment or book online.