You wake up and it's everywhere. It's all over the yard, the driveway, the cars, some of it even got on the front porch, and the back one for that matter, It's that terrible, cold, nasty white fluffy stuff, snow. You got it, it snowed last night and you woke up way too late to have to be dealing with this right now. You are going to have to shovel and you know it. As you think to yourself "this must be why people have kids," remember that there are a few preemptive steps you can take before you charge out into the great white expanse that is currently your front yard and get yourself hurt.
The first thing you want to make sure that you do is to drink plenty of water before you go out there. Even though it is cold out, that doesn't mean it's suddenly not important to stay hydrated. Just make sure that you drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated will also help to lessen muscle soreness later on.
Stretch a Little
You don't have to do some hour-long stretching routine, but as any physical therapist would tell you, you do need to do a few simple ones to get your muscles loose and your blood and heart rate going. You don't need a super strenuous stretching routine to shovel snow. Sometimes less is more, and this is one of those times.
Lift with the Legs
You always want to bend at the knees while keeping your back straight. By doing this, it does not put as much strain on your back and it will save your back in the long run. Lifting with your legs is also a great way to build up your leg muscles, especially your upper thighs.
You don't need to be the hero and shovel the entire house out in one shot. You should take a break if you need to, you do not want to overwork yourself in freezing temperatures. Doing so can lead to much worse problems. There's no harm in taking a breather every once in a while, so if you're getting out of breath, go inside and take a breather.
So there you have it, the best ways to not hurt yourself while you're shoveling out your house, driveway, or what have you. Make sure to follow these steps and they will help you along.
For more information on this and related topics, please visit the Healthcare section of our blog.
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