Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling

“Everyone with any common sense knows the do’s and don’ts of snow shoveling,” you might be thinking. But you’d be wrong.

A lot can change from one winter to the next. Maybe you’ve cut back on your exercise, for example, and aren’t in the same shape. Or, maybe father time is catching up with you and you simply don’t have the strength or stamina you once did.

Whatever your situation might be – fit as a fiddle or fiddling a slower tune – no doubt you can benefit from a few snow-shoveling safety tips:

  • Warm up. Don’t just don your winter apparel to go out and tackle your sidewalks and driveway. Warm up your muscles first with a few aerobic exercises, such as bending from side to side or walking in place.
  • Push rather than lift. Pushing the snow with the shovel instead of lifting can help reduce bodily strain. When lifting is required, bend your knees so your legs can assist your back and arms.
  • Choose your shovel wisely. Ergonomically-designed shovels can help reduce the amount of bending you have to do.
  • Lighten your load. You don’t need a heavy shovel to lift heavy snow. Instead, equip yourself with a lighter-weight plastic shovel.
  • Take frequent breaks. No one’s timing you to see how fast you can remove the snow, and you shouldn’t be either. Proceed at your own pace, and take a break at least every 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Consider multiple trips. If you find yourself losing steam, go back indoors and rest before finishing the job.
  • Wear layers. Dress in layers and remove them as you get warm to help maintain a comfortable body temperature. Hats are important to prevent heat escaping through your head.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. You might want to keep a water bottle in your car or garage for easy and frequent access.

Common sense also dictates that you check with your doctor before even attempting to shovel snow…especially if you have lower back pain, heart disease, high blood pressure, and so on.

Here at Messmer Mechanical, we wish all our friends and customers a safe and sound winter season. And please don’t hesitate to call if we can resolve any plumbing or heating issues you might experience.

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