You don’t need an injury during a snowstorm
The”Historic Blizzard of 2015” did not deliver nearly as much snow as was anticipated for the Mid-Hudson Valley, but winter is far from over. With snow comes snow removal and shoveling that could cause injury. Here are some tips to get you through that next snowstorm injury free!
First and foremost, you should check with your doctor to make sure you are indeed healthy enough for the task! Many people think of their back and arm muscles, but often forget about one very important muscle… their heart! Shoveling snow, especially a lot of it, can put a serious strain on your heart if you are not normally active. If you have a history of heart problems or feel tightness in your chest while shoveling, put the shovel down and go see a doctor!
Another important factor to consider is that shoveling is essentially a workout without the gym. Properly stretching before heading outside to shovel could make a big difference! You should also make sure you are taking breaks often, staying hydrated and pacing yourself.
Snow can be slippery so it is important to wear slip-resistant shoes! Your putting enough strain on your back just by shoveling, slipping and falling is one thing you just don’t need!
When it comes to the shovel itself, try purchasing a shovel that is ergonomically designed to reduce the amount of bending required to get the job done. You should also try and purchase a shovel made of plastic versus metal, the plastic ones are typically much lighter!
While shoveling you should try and push the snow versus picking it up and tossing it. This will lessen the impact on your body. You should also be bending from the knees, not the back.
If the snowstorm is long, staying on top of the shoveling can make all the difference. It is much easier on your body to go out every few hours and shovel a couple inches than waiting until the end and shoveling all of it. It is also much easier to shovel snow when it is light and fluffy. As it becomes wetter and packed down, your job is becoming more and more difficult.
Lastly, dress appropriately. Wear layers, gloves, a hat and a scarf! The last thing you need is to get sick!
Keeping your driveway and sidewalks clear during and after a snowstorm is a lot of work, but if done properly, you won’t need a doctor when all is said and done!