Save Your Back! Snow Shoveling Safety Tips.

Snow, snow and more snow. Winter is here in New England and with it comes one of most New Englander’s least favorite things to do. Shoveling. No only does shoveling make you cold and wet, but doing it wrong can also cause you a lot of pain in your back and your neck. Below are some pain free tips for shoveling that will help you avoid the ER this winter.

-Warm up before you begin. Jog in place for a few minutes or do some stretches before beginning to get your muscles warmed up.

-Use an ergonomic shovel. Due to their size and shape ergonomic shovels tend to be lighter and require less bending and lifting.

-When possible, push the snow rather than lifting it. If you have to lift the snow (say because the snowbankings on either side of you are still high from the last snowfall) bend your knees and lift with your legs rather than your back.

-Keep your elbows close to your body when lifting snow. It is always better to lift small loads rather than heavy ones as heavy loads can strain your muscles.

-Stop and take breaks every 15-20 minutes. Walk around, stretch or get a glass of water. Listen to your body.  Stop if you start to feel short of breath, chest discomfort or other pains.