As winter blankets our surroundings with a pristine layer of snow, the picturesque scenes come with a less appealing side effect as the seasonal task of shovelling becomes a familiar routine! While it's a necessary task, shovelling snow can take a toll on your body if not approached with caution. In this blog, we'll explore the physical impact of snow shovelling, ways to minimize soreness and injury as well as the essential precautions to prevent slipping and hurting yourself in the icy embrace of winter.
The Physical Toll of Snow Shovelling
Shovelling snow may seem like a simple task, but the combination of cold temperatures and repetitive motions can strain various muscle groups. The most affected areas include the lower back, shoulders, and arms. Additionally, the cardiovascular system can be challenged, making it crucial to approach snow shovelling with mindfulness and proper techniques.
Limiting Body Soreness and Injury
Warm-up: Treat shovelling like any other physical activity. Start with a brief warm-up to prepare your muscles. Simple stretches, a brisk walk around the yard or a few minutes of light exercise can get your blood flowing and make a significant difference.
Use Proper Technique: When lifting snow, bend at your knees and hips, not your back. Maintain a straight back and engage your leg muscles to reduce strain on your lower back. Push the snow when possible instead of lifting and switch sides regularly to balance the workload.
Stay Hydrated: Even in cold weather, it's essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration can exacerbate muscle soreness and decrease your body's ability to handle the physical stress of shovelling.
Pace Yourself: Snow shovelling is not a race! Take breaks to rest and catch your breath. Overexertion can lead to fatigue thereby increasing the risk of injuries.
Preventing Slips and Falls
Wear Proper Footwear: Choose insulated and waterproof boots with good traction. Ice and snow can make surfaces slippery, so invest in footwear that provides stability and prevents slips.
Salt or Sand Your Path: Before shovelling, spread salt or sand on your walkways to create traction to help reduce the risk of slipping and ensures a safer working environment.
Choose the Right Shovel: Opt for a shovel with an ergonomic design and a non-stick surface. Lightweight, durable shovels can make the task less physically demanding and reduce strain on your body.
Clear Small Amounts Frequently: Instead of waiting for a massive snowfall to finish, clear smaller amounts more frequently. This not only makes the task more manageable but also minimizes the physical strain on your body.
Shovelling snow is a winter reality for many and as you embark on the winter ritual of snow shovelling, prioritize your well-being by adopting proper techniques and safety precautions. By warming up, using the right equipment and taking breaks, you can turn this seasonal chore into a manageable and, dare we say, satisfying winter workout.
Stay warm, stay safe and enjoy the snowy beauty of the season responsibly.