Who would think shoveling snow would be hard work? But it is. Shoveling is a physical exercise and if you do not take precautions a simple chore could damage your back. It is not uncommon to hear stories or even know of someone who "thread out" their back while shoveling. Or an elderly person having a stroke while clearing the driveway. Shoveling snow could be compared to weight lifting. Most of us simply start doing chores around the house without thinking. No one ever thinks they can or will be injured at home. But they are and that is not the time to figure that out. Be smart follow a few basic pointers below and save yourself from a lifetime of potential pain.
Stretching your muscles before shoveling, this is very physical activity.
Do not eat, smoke or drink before shoveling, you will need all the energy and strength you have to scoop, push or throw.
Use a long handled shovel or an ergonomic shovel to keep your back straight
Plastic shovels are lighter than metal shovels
Shoveling can raise your blood pressure and heart rate, so pace yourself
Snow shovels are designed to push snow, not lift.
If you have to lift, do small scoops, not big ones
Lift with your legs, keep your back straight, this reduces pressure on your back
Toss snow the same direction you scooped it, Do not twist, twisting can damage muscles in your back.
If you get tired take a break, stretch your back gently
Stretch after you shovel to prevent your muscles from stiffening
If you are in poor health or physical shape consult a doctor before picking up the shovel. Or hire someone to do it for you. Shoveling snow is must if you live in a snowy area, but it also comes with hidden hazards. You have a few basic steps to prevent a simple chore from turning into a nightmare. Always think safety, it only takes a minute to do, but the failure to do it could haunt you for the rest of your life.