Woman Shoveling Snow

Snow, although beautiful, can literally be a pain in the back. Here are my 6 tips on how to shovel properly to minimize the damage to your body.

  1. Before starting to shovel snow make sure you warm up like any other physical activity. Try stretching or marching in place for a few minutes before putting on your snow gear.
  2. Wear layers because as you go you may want to strip a layer off. Wear gloves and a hat over your ears to minimize the risk of painful frostbite. Also wear shoes that grip like boots because many times there is a layer of ice under the snow.
  3. When picking a shovel, choose a smaller plastic one. They are lighter and will help keep the load down on your body. A curved handle absolutely puts less strain on your back. Before shoveling spray the shovel with cooking spray or WD-40 to help keep the snow from sticking.
  4. Start slowly, take frequent breaks indoors and keep hydrated. We can definitely get dehydrated in the winter and passing out in the snow doesn’t sound like fun.
  5. Stand with your feet apart slightly and bend your knees as you lift. Twisting your body while lifting will cause injury. Your feet should point in the direction you are lifting and throwing in.
  6. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages and energy drinks. These can elevate your heart rate, increasing your risk for heart attack.If you are out of shape to begin with, avoiding snow shoveling in general is a good idea.Think about hiring someone or you could always move to Florida (just kidding).
  7. Proper spinal alignment is super important with any physical activity. Spinal balance allows our muscles and joint to work properly making it easier to avoid injury. Come in and get you and your family checked today and make 2011 the healthiest year ever!

Need a Saint Louis Chiropractor? Call us today at 314-596-4070 we can help!