It is that time of year again for almost all Canadians. Along with the decreasing temperatures comes warming-up vehicles, scraping windows, and eventually clearing snow. Here are some good snow shovelling techniques that you can use to prevent injuries.
Before you start
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is just as big an issue in the winter months as in the summer.
- Dress in several layers. You can remove a layer as you get warm.
- Wear proper footwear. Shoes and boots with solid treads on the soles to help minimize risk of slips and falls.
- Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight, non-stick, push-style shovel. A smaller blade will require you to lift less snow, putting less strain on your body. An ergonomically correct model will help prevent injury and fatigue. Also, if you spray the blade with a silicone-based lubricant, the snow will slide off more easily.
- Warm-up for 5 to 10 minutes before beginning any snow removal to get your joints moving and increase blood circulation. A brisk walk will do it.
Three snow shovelling techniques so you can stay safe and fit all winter:
Push, Don’t Throw:
Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it. If you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning. Position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.
Bend Your Knees:
Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.
Watch For Ice
Be careful on icy walkways and slippery surfaces. Intermittent thaws and subsequent freezing can lead to ice building up underfoot, resulting in nasty slips and falls. Throw down some salt or sand to ensure you have a good footing.
If you do experience pain, consult a health care professional to assess your specific needs and identify a course of action that’s right for you. Ask your chiropractor for an evaluation.
Ontario Chiropractic Association . (2022). Lift Light To Shovel Right. Retrieved from At Home – Fall/Winter: https://chiropractic.on.ca/self-management/lift-light-shovel-right/
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