It’s that time of year again — snow shoveling. While it’s a necessary task for every Western New Yorker, improper technique can lead to strains, aches, and potential injuries. Our team at Novelli Wellness cares about your well-being, and we’ve partnered with our expert chiropractors to bring you essential tips on shoveling snow safely and protecting your spine.
Tip 1: Warm Up Your Muscles
Just like any physical activity, it’s crucial to warm up before grabbing that shovel. Take a few minutes to stretch your back, arms, and legs to increase blood flow and flexibility. Gentle movements like shoulder rolls, neck stretches, and squats can prepare your muscles for the task ahead.
Tip 2: Choose the Right Shovel
Opt for a shovel that suits your body size and strength. Look for one with a curved or adjustable handle to minimize awkward bending. A lightweight, ergonomic design can make a significant difference in reducing the strain on your back and shoulders.
Tip 3: Maintain Proper Posture
As you shovel, keep your back straight, bend your knees, and lift with your legs rather than your back. Avoid twisting motions, and face the direction you are throwing the snow. By maintaining good posture, you’ll distribute the workload evenly and reduce the risk of straining your spine.
Tip 4: Take Regular Breaks
Snow shoveling can be a strenuous activity, so it’s important to pace yourself. Take breaks every 15–20 minutes to rest and stretch. Use this time to hydrate and give your muscles a chance to recover.
Tip 5: Push, Don’t Lift
Whenever possible, push the snow rather than lifting it. Pushing is less strenuous on your back and puts less pressure on your spine. If lifting is necessary, use your legs and not your back, lifting small amounts at a time.
Tip 6: Stay Hydrated
Even in cold weather, it’s important to stay hydrated. Dehydration can contribute to muscle stiffness and fatigue. Drink water regularly to keep your body functioning at its best.
Tip 7: Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain. If you experience pain, take a break and assess your technique. If pain persists, it’s advisable to consult with a chiropractor for professional guidance and care.
Remember, your spine’s health is a priority. By incorporating these chiropractor-approved tips into your snow shoveling routine, you can enjoy a Western New York winter without compromising your well-being.
Stay safe and warm!