Home maintenance in the winter usually takes a back seat to keeping up with snow removal. Anyone who lives in an area that gets as much snow as we do in the Twin Cities knows how beautiful it is as it falls but how painful it can be to shovel. Before you go out this next snowfall to tackle the blanket coating your walkways, patios, and driveways keep these tips in mind.
Choosing the right shovel can make clearing snow easier and less painful. Choose a shovel with either an adjustable handle, one that’s ergonomically curved or one with both options.
Stretch and Warm Up
Just like any other exercise, you need to get your body ready. Try running in place and stretching your muscles out.
Instead of lifting the snow, push it whenever possible.
Sometimes, there’s no choice but to lift the snow. These tips will help you prevent hurting yourself in the process.
- Keep your hips and shoulders square as you face the snow you need to move.
- Instead of using your back to lift, then bend your knees to get lower, and let your leg muscles take the weight.
- Don’t move huge amounts of snow at once. Instead, shovel smaller chunks of snow and move them instead.
- Rather than of tossing the snow or stretching to deposit it, walk over to the area to deposit it. Be careful about tossing shovels-full of snow around windows; that snow could hide an ice ball or rock that could cause damage.
- When you need to throw the snow, step in the direction you’re tossing it and keep your feet facing in the direction the snow needs to go. Don’t twist your body to do so.
In addition to these tips, remember to take frequent breaks whenever you need them. Working fifteen minutes at a time is usually a good policy. During those breaks, stretch your back, shoulders and arms. Don’t forget to take regular drinks water. Although it’s cold, you still need to stay well hydrated.
In cases of long snowstorms, it’s better to shove early on in the storm, and often.
When you shovel mindfully, you’ll spend less time in pain and more time enjoying the season.