When it's time to get out
the snow shovel, take a few minutes to consider how to protect yourself
while shoveling. Although snow shoveling injuries are most common at
the beginning of the season, they can surprise you at any time. Typical
problems include sore, pulled muscles and ligaments in the shoulders,
back, and legs. However, if you are out of shape or have heart or other
cardiovascular problems, don't shovel snow unless your medical doctor
says it's acceptable.
Here are some important
tips to make your shoveling as safe as possible:
Warm up your muscles
first—shoveling is like any other exercise activity.
Drink plenty of fluids
and take frequent breaks.
Wear warm, dry gloves to
Wear footwear with a
Shovel earlier and more
often—don't let it build up.
Use a shovel with a
smaller blade or take smaller shovelfuls, especially if the show is
Space your hands far
enough apart on the handle to get good leverage, but not so far apart
that you are stooped over.
Keep the shovel close to
your body—don't lean out too far.
Don't twist at the waist
too much—use a forward motion whenever possible and push the snow.
If you have to throw the
snow, lift with your legs and bend at your knees.
Don't throw the snow
over your shoulder.
Finally, consider using a
snowblower if you are at a higher health risk, but make sure it starts
easily and is in good working order.