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Tips on shoveling snow to help keep you healthy

tips on shoveling snow

by Kathleen Zinck, Physiotherapist

With the Winter weather among us, we wanted to note the importance of taking extra care when shovelling snow. We wanted to share some tips on shovelling snow safely.

·      Make sure you are dressed for the weather.

·      Warm up before you head outside.  Try 10 minutes of walking around inside, marching on the spot, climbing stairs, or squats. Also include some gentle movement of your neck, spine, shoulders and legs.

·      Start early, it is easier to shovel 2 inches of fresh snow than 6 inches of snow that has been sitting all day and has become dense and packed.

·      Stay hydrated with water while shovelling and after you have finished.

·      Push snow instead of lifting when you can.

·      Keep feet hip width apart.

·      Bend your knees and try to keep your back straight.

·      Try not to twist your torso. If you do have to lift the snow move your feet and try and throw the snow straight as opposed to twisting. 

·      Shovel small amounts of snow at a time.

·      If you have a lot of snow, take a break, go in and have a warm cup of tea, and then start again.  

One good fact is that a Harvard Medical Article claims a 155lb person can burn up 223 calories per minutes of shovelling.

Heather Stone