With this recent blizzard that just hit the East Coast you need to make sure that you're ready for getting yourself out of it. Whether it be to use a snow blower or most commonly the snow shovel you need to know how not to hurt yourself when removing snow. The way we usually approach it is first looking at it, being overwhelmed and then just taking it like there's no tomorrow. Huge shovel after shovel of snow and lifting, throwing and turning while using movements that we generally do not use on a day-to-day basis and working muscles that are not used to all this work. When it snows we number one have to move all the cars and trucks to the back of the lot but then we have to still brush everything off and still have plenty of snow that needs to be removed and when you're removing snow from over 150 cars and trucks you need to know what you're doing and not hurt yourself doing it.
We have put together some helpful snow removal tips. Even though a lot of the snow from this storm is already starting to melt you should be prepared for next time and future snowfall.
You may not realize how much of a workout snow removal actually is so before you even approach the snow you need to warm up your muscles. You should stretch almost like an athlete stretches because you use so many different muscles including your back, shoulders, hamstrings and many more. You will also want to dress in layers so that you can remove them as you work because you will start to sweat – a lot – and have to dress properly for snow removal. Also, make sure that you also take enough breaks and when you catch your breath make sure to stretch again before resuming work.
You should also be using your leg muscles to help push the snow and when you're lifting it.also keep in mind that you want to keep your back straight when lifting snow to avoid straining your back and do not overreach. The best method is to hold the shovel as close your upper body as possible especially when working with heavy snow and you should hold one hand close to the blade of the shovel which will help with better leverage and remember not to twist your upper body as your throwing snow which could actually lead to some back issues.
Do not forget to keep hydrated especially with water or Gatorade because you're going to sweat a lot and you will lose a lot of fluids – so you want to make sure you keep those fluids and keep drinking to stay hydrated through the snow removal process.
And as much as you may not think the sun is very bright and strong because it's freezing outside you have to realize that the sun during this time a year is actually quite strong. I know a couple times when I've gone snowboarding I've come home with snowburn because the sun is actually stronger than you think in addition to reflecting off the white snow too. With this in mind you should clean an area where some darker colors are exposed (like asphalt or concrete), spread some salt and then the sun should start to melt the remaining snow and ice.
Finally if you can find someone to work with whether it's a friend, family member or even the neighbor this will help make shoveling more enjoyable but more importantly will create less stress on yourself and on others by working as a team and you will also get the job done much quicker.
We hope that you will use these helpful tips when shoveling snow. The main thing is make sure to keep hydrated and use proper techniques when pushing, lifting and shoveling the snow to avoid injury to your back or other muscles. Do not forget to stretch before and during breaks and extremely enjoy the snow, stay safe and have a great winter!