Snow piling up? We have some chiropractor-approved tips to help you shovel the right way this winter.
Before tackling any strenuous activity, a quick 10-minute warm up such as a walk around the block will kickstart your muscles for the activity ahead and help prevent injury.
1. Don’t Let Snow Pile Up ❄
If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shovelling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow after each snowfall.
2. Pick the Right Shovel ⛄
Use a lightweight push shovel. If you’re using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon, so snow won’t stick to it.
3. Push, Don’t Throw 🌨
Push the snow to the side rather than throwing it. This way, you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and abrupt twists or turns that may result in injury.
4. Bend Your Knees ☑
If you need to lift shovelfuls of snow, bend your knees, and use your leg and arm muscles to do the work, while keeping your back straight.
5. Take a Break ⌚
If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a break. Shake out your arms and legs to recharge.
Layer your clothing so you can adapt to changing temperatures. If you become too warm while outdoors, simply remove a layer or two to maximize comfort.
Stay Hydrated 💧
Even though it’s cold outside, your body still needs plenty of fluids. Be sure to drink lots of water or fruit juice before, during and after shovelling. Remember – if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Take it Slow 🐢
Rest when you feel tired or short of breath. Stop shovelling if you experience sudden or prolonged joint or muscle pain.
Cool Down 🚶♀️
After you’ve finished shovelling, cool down by taking a walk and stretching out tense muscles.
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