While there are many fun activities that come with the big snow falls, unfortunately so too comes the task of snow clean-up with shovelling. Shovelling may not be the most enjoyable past-time of winter, it doesn’t have to be the most painful. Here are some tips to keep you injury free while shovelling this season.
Prepare Your Body
The more prepared your body is to take on any physical task, including shovelling, the less likely the risk of injury. Take a few minutes prior to rushing out to shovel to consider these simple steps at helping your body prepared to haul some snow around.
Stretching: Large dynamic stretches before you begin helps to get the blood flowing and the muscles warmed up. Dynamic stretches involve flowing movements, allowing your limbs to move through their full range of motion without ‘pulling’ on your limbs and holding the stretch for a period of time. Static stretching before your activity poses a slight risk of injury. Therefore, long, static stretches, held for 30 seconds after you’ve finished shovelling will also help eliminate any injuries from the receptivity movements associated with the task.
Drink lots of water: Well hydrated muscles are less susceptible to injury. It allows them to maintain a normal resting length, prepares them for contraction and facilitates their ability to provide strength and power for pushing and lifting snow.
Dress Properly: Wear warm, breathable layers of clothing that aren’t stored in a cold garage. Putting on cold clothing prior to going outside can eliminate all the efforts you made to warm up with your dynamic stretching. Select quality snow boots with large, tooth-like grips on the sole to help reduce the risk of slipping on slippery ice. Depending on the conditions, you may want to invest in boot spikes that slip on under your boot for added traction in icy conditions.