Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Proper shoveling techniques


This is one of Minnesota's favorite or un-favorite past times. Shoveling snow!!! Whether we like it or not, most of us can't get around doing it. Here are some tips on how to keep from injuring your back in this must-do task.


1. Warm up for 5-10 minutes. Just like any other exercise you need to warm up before doing it. For this you can be inside where it is still warm and touch your toes a couple of times, rotate at the waist slowly without forcing it, bend and touch the opposite foot, walk up and down stairs. All of these activities, if done slowly and carefully, will help warm up the lower back muscles. Stretch your lower back, arms and legs.
2. Don't let the snow pile up. Going out to shovel several times during a snow fall is easier than doing it when it really deep and heavy.
3. When you are outside make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the temperature, and wear boots that grip to minimize slipping on the ice.
4. Take frequent breaks. Stop every 10-15 minutes especially if the snow is heavy. If you are feeling chest pain stop immediately.
5. Don't lift and twist.
6. Use a proper snow shovel that allows you to push and throw snow forward.
7. Lift with your knees, keeping your back straight.
8. Use a snow blower if you have one, or utilize a neighborhood kid.

Good luck, stay warm, and stay injury free!!!

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