Get your shovels ready–more snow is on the way. While you may consider shoveling snow to be a chore, Dr. Brian Paris, owner and chiropractor of Advanced Wellness Systems in Rockville, MD, says you should regard it as a physical sport. Shoveling snow is an intense activity that could cause injuries if you don’t do it right.
To prevent injuries, Dr. Paris advises you to:
Warm Up: Do a few squat exercises and push ups before you start. The squats can be in and out of a chair, if the regular variety are too difficult. Push-ups can be on the floor, or if you prefer, against the wall. Once outside, do some lunges to start sweating before you shovel.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of water
Use Correct Form: The proper foot placement can prevent injury. Try a split stance by placing your left foot in front of the other, with your hands associated properly on the shovel. Then switch and put the other foot forward. The same goes for you hands. Switching your footing and your hand placement assures you’re not always twisting and throwing the snow in the same direction. An ergonomic shovel can also be a big help.
If you’ve been out shoveling snow and you feel like you might have pulled a muscle, Dr. Paris recommends you:
Stop Immediately: If you feel you’re in pain, take some time to rest.
Treat Your Injury: Depending on what feels better, use either a hot or cold compress for the pain.
But another way to avoid an injury, is just to pay a neighborhood kid to shovel. Dr. Paris got his start in business by shoveling snow as a teen, and thinks it’s is a much better deal to pay than to put yourself at risk. Plus, it helps entrepreneurship.