If you live in an area that gets hit with snow in the winter, you need to make sure that you are safe while shoveling the snow. Here are a few tips you should keep in mind before the next snowstorm hits.
Don't Shovel If You Are Not In Good Shape
If you have a known heart condition, back issues, or other physical impairments, you shouldn't shovel your own snow. Shoveling snow is a physically demanding task, made even more so by the cold weather that accompanies it, and can cause your health condition to quickly become aggravated.
Dress Appropriately Before Heading Outdoors
Make sure you dress appropriately before you go outside to shovel snow. Your innermost layer should be something that allows perspiration to evaporate from your skin, such as thermal or fishnet underclothes. On top of that, you should have multiple lightweight and warm layers that you are able to easily move around in.
You should also make sure that you put on a hat before you step outside. Your gloves should be flexible enough to allow you to get a good grip on your shovel, and thick enough to keep your hands warm.
Ideally, you should wear winter boots when you shovel snow. They should be water resistant and should go high up your ankle to keep the snow out. They should also provide you with good traction.
Warm Your Muscles Up Before You Start
You wouldn't start a workout at the gym without stretching a little bit before hand, and the same should be true when shoveling snow. Remember, shoveling snow is very much a workout.
Do a couple simple arm and leg stretches before going outside to get your muscles loose and ready to work out and move all that snow outside.
Pace Yourself While Shoveling
The key is to work slowly and steadily until you are done. You shouldn't rush and then be forced to take multiple breaks. All the shoveling is bound to make you sweat, and if you rush and need to take breaks, you'll get a chill as all that sweat cools off during your break period. Just remember to keep moving, but take it slow.
Be Careful With How You Move The Snow
As much as you can, try to push the snow instead of lifting it. Put your shovel as close to the ground as possible and push the snow to the edges of your driveway or deck. What really wears you out when you shovel snow is lifting and throwing the snow, so try to cut that down as much as possible.
When you do need to throw the snow, only lift up as much as you can easily handle. Be sure to turn your body in the direction where you are throwing the snow; avoid twisting at the waist or throwing the snow over your shoulder. Those motions can stress out your back.
If you follow the safety steps above, you should be able to shovel your snow without harming yourself this winter.
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