How To Shovel Safely

It’s all but inevitable: At some point this winter, you’ll find yourself shovelling snow. You’ll probably find yourself freezing while you do it and exhausted after. Here are a few tips on how to make shovelling the white stuff more bearable.  

1. Get your body ready: Stretch for five minutes and walk outside for 5-10 minutes before you start shoveling. 

2. Drink up:  Drink plenty of water so that you’re well hydrated. Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol or use nicotine products immediately before shoveling.

3. Shovel early and often: Newly fallen snow is lighter than heavily packed or partially melted snow. And starting out early allows you extra time to take frequent breaks.

4. Take your time: Never remove deep snow all at once. Shovel a layer that’s an inch or two thick and then take off another inch or two.

5. Pick the right shovel:
A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body.

6. Protect your back with good shoveling technique:
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart for balance, and keep the shovel close to your body. Bend from the knees, not the back, and tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Avoid twisting movements. If you need to move the snow to one side, reposition your body so your feet face the direction the snow will be going. Always throw the snow in front of you, not over your shoulder.

7. Listen to your body:
If you experience any shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest discomfort, stop immediately and seek medical care.

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