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Snow Shoveling Tips

Now that winter is upon us and the snow is here to stay for a bit, we have some different tips and ideas to help you remove the snow from your driveways and walkways.

For starters, if you have health issues such as back problems or heart conditions, it may be wise to hire a company or find a teenager in your neighborhood to help you out.

Always Wear the Right Attire

It is smart to wear many layers of clothing, then you will be able to remove layers as you heat up. It’s good to be warm, but you don’t want to sweat. Sweating can lead to you becoming colder. Wearing a hat is a good idea, as this is where we lose most of our body heat. Wearing gloves and a scarf will keep you extra warm and dry. Wearing proper footwear is the most important, you want to have boots that will keep your feet warm and dry. Make sure they have good traction, so you maintain your balance and reduce the risk of injury.

Nowadays, they have many ergonomic snow shovels, I would recommend buying one. They will save you a lot of effort and time, and they will last for years. Most ergonomic shovels will have a bend in the handle to help reduce back injury, by keeping your back straighter. Choose a shovel with a longer handle for less bending. They now have shovels that are more for pushing the snow out of the way, instead of digging and lifting, which is another great option if the snow is too heavy or you have limited lifting abilities. Pick a shovel that has a non-stick surface and try a lighter plastic shovel over a heavy metal one.

How to Prepare

It’s always good before any physical activity to stretch your body and get the muscles warmed up and moving. Put emphasis on your arms, legs and back.  It is easier to shovel snow a little bit at a time and while it is snowing. Fresh snow is lighter due to the fact that it hasn’t been compacted or turned to ice. Make sure you have water nearby, shoveling snow is hard physical work. Dehydration is harder to notice in the cold, but it can happen fast when doing hard labour. Shoveling snow is not how we want to spend the morning or weekend and we want to get it done fast, but remember to take frequent breaks during the process.

Shoveling Techniques

If you are clearing a rectangle it is better to work from the center out. First clear a strip of snow around the perimeter of the rectangle, then starting in the center push the snow towards the cleared area. From there lift the snow out of the area. Spread your hands far apart on the handle, with one hand close to the blade. This will provide more leverage while lifting snow. Dig using a steady, easy motion; if you are pushing make sure to hold your shovel at a slight angle and begin making passes back and forth width-wise along your driveway. You should rarely need to move your shovel above waist height. If you are lifting the snow to remove it from your drive or walkway remember not to use a twisting gesture, always keep a good posture by keeping your back straight while changing from squatting to upright positions.

Shoveling snow is not the most fun job, but if you have a few things to ponder as you go it will make the job seem faster. Remembering these tips will help make the job go smoother, always wear the right attire, use the correct snow shovel, prepare before heading out and use the correct technique so you will avoid bodily harm.

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