With winter weather quickly approaching, shoveling snow is inevitable. Snow shoveling can be a pain, considering that each shovelful of snow weighs about six pounds. That’s a lot of repetitive lifting and wear and tear on your back. These back health tips will ease the hassle of clearing your driveway and help keep your back in shape.
- Warm up before you start. Before tackling any strenuous activity, a quick 10-minute warm up such as a walk around the block will kick-start your muscles for the activity ahead and help prevent injury.
- Don’t let the snow pile up. If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shoveling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow after each snowfall.
- Push, don’t throw. Push the snow to the side rather than throwing it. This way you avoid lifting heavy shovels of snow, and abrupt twists or turns that may result in injury.
- Bend your knees. If you need to lift shovels of snow, bend your knees and use your leg and arm muscles to do the work, while keeping your back straight.
- Take a break. If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a break. Shake out your arms and legs to recharge.
- 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.
- Dress for the weather. Layer your clothing so you can adapt to changing temperatures.
- Stay hydrated. Even though it’s cold outside, your body still needs plenty of fluids. Be sure to drink lots of water during and after shoveling.
- Take it slow. Rest when you feel tired or short of breath. Stop shoveling if you experience sudden or prolonged joint or muscle pain.
For more information, contact our Chiropractor Dr. Kayla Wells or one of our therapists.