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5 Tips for Safe Shoveling This Winter

By Brandi Swieter

Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean the snow will be done as well. Many areas see months of snow, with some of the heaviest days yet to come in January and February. This means months of shoveling the cold, white fluff from the ground to make way for vehicles needing to get in and out of the drive. With five tips for safe shoveling this winter, the job can get done easier and with less pain than usual.

Warm Up Beforehand

Just as with any form of exercise, it is important to warm up beforehand with some stretches or a light walk. The blood flow needs to get moving through the body so it is thoroughly warmed up and ready to perform. The lower back and hamstrings should be the focus for stretches as these are the areas that seem to be affected the most while shoveling.

Choose a Lightweight Shovel

Many people feel that plastic shovels do not do as good of a job as metal shovels. While this can sometimes be true, the metal shovels on the market are often far too heavy to lift and carry for the entire duration of shoveling. A lightweight, plastic shovel is far better on the body, not requiring as much effort to lift and move.

Take Frequent Breaks

The cold can make the muscles tight, making it difficult to continue shoveling as long as needed. Rather than trying to get the job done all at once, it’s important to take frequent breaks during the process. Do a few more stretches in between and get a drink of water so the body stays able to continue the task.

Keep the Load Light

Too many people fill their shovel full of snow before depositing it to another area. The consistent heavy loads can wreak havoc on the back and should be avoided. Instead, keep the load light. Get a decent amount of snow on the shovel, but not so much that it feels heavy and hard to lift.

Avoid Twisting

No one should ever twist their body to toss snow from the shovel to another area nearby. This twisting motion can easily hurt the back and do serious damage. The best option is to walk over to the dump site to rid the shovel of the snow.

Shoveling can quickly lead to back pain if people aren’t careful. With a few tips in mind, the job can get done easier. Those who do experience pain after their shoveling duties should consult with a chiropractic. Visit The Joint Chiropractic at one of their many locations to receive an adjustment.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Avon, Ind.

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