It’s December in New England. With that comes the holidays, shopping, decorating, and of course, SNOW! While it is lovely to have a white Christmas, it can also be a hassle. The roads become slippery and dangerous to drive on. Parking can be a nightmare and shoveling becomes almost unavoidable. Since we are currently in the midst of a storm, I figured now would be a good time to post some tips on avoiding injury during the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Plan Accordingly. Pay attention to weather reports and give yourself time to shovel. Clearing snow is a lot easier when it is light and fluffy vs. iced over and wet. Giving yourself time will allow for breaks, if necessary, and when done slowly proper technique is easier to achieve.
2. Lift Properly. Do not lift snow with your back! Keep your back straight, core engaged and lift with your legs/hips. Push snow straight ahead when able to and never throw snow while turning or twisting.
3. Wear Layers. Stay warm with breathable clothing. This will keep your muscles flexible and warm, while reducing sweating.
4. Stretch. Treat shoveling as an exercise. Stretch before and after and stay hydrated. This will help avoid muscular pain and tightness later.
5. Ask For Help! If you have a tough job in front of you, ask someone for assistance. The task will be completed sooner and it can make it fun. Ask a friend, family member, or a neighbor. It can be a great way to meet people on your street. Maybe someone will even come by with a snow blower and make your life a little easier.
Try these tips the next time you have to dig out a parking spot or clear your driveway. I’m sure everyone will have enough opportunities to do so. Until then, enjoy your holidays, have a happy New Year, and go Pats!