Snow Shoveling is an excellent winter exercise. It improves muscle tone, strengthens immune system, and maintains good cardiovascular and respiratory health. Despite these health benefits, approximately 28,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries that happened while snow shoveling and related activities, according to the 2013 US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
There are many steps to prevent injuries without pushing your body too hard and putting your health and safety at risk. These include:
1. Performing warm-up exercises
One of the worst things you can do is to force your still-stiff muscles to work right away. So, before doing anything, perform exercises that will help you limber up your muscles and make your body ready for the day's snow shoveling tasks. Stretching is good, but you can also warm up by going through your normal day-to-day activities — like showering, making your bed, giving your dog a walk.
2. Practicing proper posture and body mechanics
For many people, poor posture and repetitive movements are some of the reasons why they feel tired and sore after snow shoveling. Fortunately, you can avoid this scenario by simply by practicing good body mechanics. Bend your knees instead of bending your back when lifting something. Keep your work close to your body instead of arching your back or overreaching your arms.
Watch FOX10Phoenix and see Aaron and Stephan talk about how feeling tired after shoveling led them to create Bosse Tools: http://youtu.be/vUs9P6VzrL0
3. Wearing the appropriate protective equipment
Some people refuse to wear winterized coats and boots, but don't make the same mistake. Professionals put the equipment on all the time because they know that these will help them protect their health and safety. Gloves, for example, will safeguard your hands from cuts and wounds, while boots will protect you from slips and falls.
4. Using the right snow shovel tools
Doing this can help you finish your tasks without using a lot of effort. Instead of using an old fashion snow shovel, for instance, you can complete the job using a ergonomic one. Click to read how reinvented Bosse Shovels are easier to handle, and they won't put a lot of strain on your back.
5. Using adaptive tools when necessary
There are now lots of adaptive tools for snow shovels, if you find yourself having some mobility issues, you might want to take advantage of these innovations. Read this story on students who build a snow blower for a man in a wheelchair.
6. Staying hydrated
Your body heats up when you tackle snow shoveling tasks, which means you'll still sweat buckets even when you work during winter. Because of this, you need to drink plenty of water, even when you don't feel thirsty. This way, you'll keep dehydration at bay and maintain good health.
7. Taking breaks
Make sure you are taking breaks while snow shoveling. Stand up strait, stretch, wiggle, fidget and touch your toes. Ideally every 10-15 minutes.
To find more information on staying safe while snow shoveling read these sites we found helpful:
- General Tips for Safe Snow Clearing by OrthoInfo
- How to Make Snow Removal Easy
- How to Avoid Back Pain by SpineUniverse
- How to Avoid Embarrassing Show Shovel Injury - Yahoo
- Preparation for Outdoor Winter Activities - ACA
Here's what different about Bosse Tools Ergonomic Show Shovel: