Luckily we haven’t had to do much shoveling this winter and hopefully it stays that way:) However, it seems like the next few days we may need to do some.
I know some people who love shoveling which is great. I am not one of them but I do feel good after I finish. It is a good form of exercise and I usually love being outside unless it is completely freezing.
Shoveling done smartly and safely can be a good way to stay active in the winter and get some fresh air.
Here are my tips for making shoveling a little easier and having less aches and pains doing it.
- Dress appropriately! Wear boots or shoes that have non slip grip and will keep your feet warm. Also wear enough winter clothing to keep your whole body warm. Warm joints move and feel much better than when they are cold and stiff. It also helps your balance to be warm enough.
- Try to shovel in daylight or if it is dark have the area be well lit so that you can see any icy areas or uneven ground.
- Shovel more frequently if it is supposed to snow a lot so that you can avoid having to lift a lot/heavy snow.
- Use a good shovel. Make sure it fits you and your height so that it is not too heavy or too long.
- Hands should be spaced approximately 12inches apart on shovel for good leverage and stability.
- Avoid lifting any snow with your arms outstretched.
- Keep the shovel with snow close to your body and center of gravity when you are lifting.
- Try to push snow as much as possible instead of lifting. If you have to lift, smaller amounts on the shovel will be better for you.
- Avoid rotating and lifting at the same time.
- Bend with your knees and hips and not your back to avoid back pain.
- Engage your core muscles – try to pull your belly button in
- Avoid throwing snow over your shoulder or to one side because this creates more stress on your spine.
- Switch arms so that you don’t overwork one side of your body.
- Take frequent breaks and make sure to stay hydrated.
- Doing a little warm up/ stretch before and after shoveling is definitely a good idea.
- Enjoy the snow!
Contact A to Z Personal Wellness if you have any questions or would like help with exercises to make shoveling easier.