Man shoveling snow at a footpath

We had our first snowfall this week! As you begin to scrape sidewalks and driveways, it’s important to use proper shoveling techniques to prevent back pain and injuries. No one wants to spend the holidays laid up. Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons:

  • Check with your primary physician to make sure you’re healthy enough to shovel the snow. Studies have found that shoveling heavy snow for 2 minutes can increase the heart rate past non-recommended levels.
  • Dress appropriately in layers and don’t forget slip-resistant boots. More than 11,000 injuries are reported each year due to snow-shoveling accidents.
  • Stay on top of the scraping. It’s easier on the back and knees to do small amounts than try to scraped layers of snow.
  • Warm up before scraping by stretching or doing light cardio.
  • Pace yourself by taking frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Push rather than lift the snow. When you have to lift, bend with the knees.
  • Walk and dump instead of throwing the snow.

Follow these tips to keep your back and driveway in shape this winter.

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