Tips to Shovel Snow without Injury

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winter and cleaning concept - closeup of man shoveling snow from

According to, Winter Storm Gorgon is racing across the country at near-freeway speeds, and by the time it moves off the East Coast Tuesday night it will have brought a swath of snow more than 2,000 miles long, from the Cascades to the Mid-Atlantic coast, in barely 48 hours. With several feet of snow on the ground and more to come, millions of people are already shoveling out from under. Unfortunately, many of them have already been injured in the process. You can prevent similar injuries by following a few simple tips:
Warm up and stretch
The very daunting and exhausting task of shoveling snow can become more difficult when the snow is wet and heavy. Before heading outside, make sure your muscles are ready for the physical challenge ahead. March in place for a few minutes and stretch your arms and back. A few minutes of warm up can help prevent a pulled muscle while you work.
Use the right tool
Shovels come in a variety of shapes and sizes but they are not created equal. Find the one that works best for your needs. Look for a lightweight shovel with a comfortable handle for best results. Consider a smaller, plastic blade instead of a heavier, metal one that scrapes up a lot of ice along with the snow.
Watch your technique
Pay attention to your form and how you are lifting and moving the snow. Try to push the snow out of the way rather than scooping and lifting. If you need to scoop large amounts of snow be careful to lift with your legs instead of your back. The best form is the squat position with your legs shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and keep your back straight.
Take a Break
Shoveling snow can become physically overwhelming, so take frequent breaks to catch your breath and give your muscles a rest. Also, remove some layers of clothing if you begin sweating too much. Excessive perspiration can lead to frost bite.

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