Written By: Alena Walrath, PTA
We’ve already seen quite a bit of snow this year in Michigan and it technically isn’t even winter yet. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re prepared for the next snowfall:
- Make sure you have the right equipment. When selecting a shovel, make sure the shaft of the shovel is long enough. A shovel that is too short will require you to bend down farther than necessary to lift the snow. A shaft that is too long will make a load of snow harder to lift. It is also important to dress appropriately for the cold weather. Make sure you have a pair of well-fitting boots to give you traction in snow and ice.
- Stay in shape. Shoveling is a physical activity and is easier if you are in good shape. It’s best to establish a workout routine and make sure you continue with some type of physical activity over the winter months. Before you grab your shovel, do some warm-up exercises and stretches to prepare for all of the pushing and lifting you will be doing while shoveling.
- Get out to shovel early if you can. Heavier lifting can increase the possibility of injury, so complete the task in stages and try to avoid lifting heavy snow if possible.
- Make sure you are using the correct technique. When lifting your shovel, keep your back straight, lift with your legs with a straight back and avoid twisting. Turn your whole body instead. Push snow instead of lifting when you can. Never throw snow over your shoulder.
- Take rest breaks. Avoid over-exerting yourself. Consult your doctor before shoveling, especially if you have a history of heart problems, back pain or another serious medical condition. Also, don’t forget to stay hydrated.
If you are already experiencing aches and pains from shoveling, come see us so we can keep you moving this winter!