Winter is officially upon us and in full force. Lately, we all have been experiencing the byproducts of our Wisconsin winter with snow! With all the snow comes the daunting task of shoveling all of if up! In the process, we often find ourselves feeling sore, achey, and sometimes even injured. Many of these symptoms are very preventable! Here are some helpful tips to stay safe this winter while shoveling and removing snow!
  1. Pick the right shovel- Finding the right shovel in both height and weight is key, especially when you have large areas to shovel. Be sure to find a shovel with an adjustable handle or one that is tall enough to avoid excessive bending. Also finding a shovel that is not too heavy, as when you throw heavy snow into the picture, this can create an even bigger burden for your body!
  2. Warm up first- Stretching before you go out and shovel can be key to loosening up tight muscles and getting blow flow going throughout your body!
  3. Use proper lifting techniques- lifting ergonomically is crucial to saving your spine while shoveling. Always be sure to bend at the knees and hips, NOT at your low back. Do multiple lighter loads rather than trying to move an excessive amount at one time. Pivot your whole body when changing direction instead of twisting and dumping your shovel.
  4. Pace yourself- Between the cold air and dreading the task of shoveling, it can be easy to try to rush to get the job done. Take your time and don’t forget to take breaks when needed.
  5. Stay hydrated!- In winter months it is much easier to forget about getting adequate water. Our bodies always need to stay hydrated! When outside shoveling, you are exerting a lot of energy. Be sure to stay hydrated before, during, and after shoveling.

 

Stay safe and warm this winter! Follow these 5 helpful tips to ensure a healthy spine and an enjoyable winter season.