Chiropractic Snow Shoveling Tips
By Sara Butler
Winter just wouldn’t be winter without a little snow! But with all that snow comes the shoveling, and with the shoveling comes a chance of injuring your back. It doesn’t matter if you only have a couple of inches to clear off or the aftermath of a blizzard, you still need to practice safe shoveling techniques in order to stay healthy. The chiropractors at The Joint have come up with a few tips to help keep you healthy no matter how much snow you’re facing.
You may not look at shoveling all that snow as exercise, but your body can’t tell the difference! That’s why it must be treated as the physical activity that it is – a physical activity that requires a warm up!
You should make sure to stretch out with some static stretches for your arms and back. Try to march in place or walk for a few minutes at a brisk pace in order to get your blood pumping. Warming your muscles up can help to prevent injuries during shoveling.
Also, take the time to warm up those hamstrings. The hamstrings are a major group of muscles at the back of your legs that have a big impact on your lower back; they also happen to put in some major work as you go through motions of shoveling. So, don’t forget to stretch the hammies!
Get the Right Equipment
It’s so important to have the right equipment if you want to avoid injury while shoveling. First, make sure you have a shovel that is the right size. If the handle is too long, then it can cause you to strain too much when lifting the snow simply because it’s too far from the center of your body. A shovel with a shorter handle can reduce the strain placed on your back.
Consider an ergonomic shovel with a curved handle. This can help to prevent the need to bend forward as you shovel. If you can avoid bending forward, then you reduce the strain placed on your lower back. And don’t forget to use your legs to lift the snow – that’s an important step your chiropractor doesn’t want you to forget.
The chiropractors at The Joint want you to enjoy the winter weather, but you can’t enjoy it if you’re injured! So, make sure to use these tips to stay healthy between regular visits to your chiropractor at The Joint.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.