I want to help you stay safe this winter and protect your body while out in the cold, shoveling snow. As a Londoner, you never know when we’ll get hit with that first big snowfall.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association has a Lift Right, Shovel Light campaign to educate the public of the risks that are associated with shoveling and how to minimize them. As shoveling is a common cause of back pain in the winter, I would like to share this campaign with you!
Before you start shoveling there are a few things you need to consider:
1. Hydrate! Drink plenty of water before heading outside
2. Dress appropriately. Wear several layers to start and remove the layers as needed.
3. Proper footwear. Ensure your shoes or boots have solid treads to help reduce the risk of slipping or falling
4. Pick the right shovel! Ideally a lightweight, non-stick and push style shovel is what you should use. Keep in mind, the more snow you pick up at one time, the more stress there is on your body, therefore lift an amount of snow comfortable for you.
5. Warm up! Just like with any exercise, it is important to warm up your muscles before getting started. Before rushing out to the driveway, shovel in hand, go for a quick walk or get your joints moving to increase your blood circulation.
Now onto shoveling! Who here knows the proper shoveling technique? Keep on reading to see if you’ve been shoveling correctly, in the safest manner.
1. Do not throw the snow, PUSH it! Push the snow to one side and try your best not to throw it. However, if you must throw it, avoid twisting and turning your body
2. Keep your back straight! As a chiropractor, I like to say, keep your back in a neutral position. This means you will need to bend your knees and use your leg and arm muscles to push and lift the snow.
3. Watch out for ice. Put some salt down to help your feet grip the ground.
Now you’ve got the tools and knowledge to stay safe while shoveling!