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Shoveling Without Injury

The blizzard that swept across Wisconsin brought six feet tall snow drifts– and hours upon hours of shoveling!

This snowfall had a mix of lighter wind-blown snow with a thick layer of wet and heavy snow on the bottom, the kind of snow that can make it extra tough on your back, especially if you find yourself doing all of the shoveling solo!

We found the following tips from the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors on the Basking Ridge Patch website about staying healthy while shoveling:

  • Be prepared. Maintain your exercise program year-round.
  • Listen to weather forecasts so you can rise early and have time to shovel before work; rushing the job can lead to injury.
  • Wear layers of clothing to keep your muscles warm and flexible.
  • Do some stretching before you grab the shovel.
  • For big jobs use a motorized snow blower. If you shovel by hand, use a lightweight,
  • Ergonomically-designed shovel to reduce back strain.
  • When you do shovel, push the snow straight ahead. Don’t try to throw it; walk it to the snowbank. Avoid sudden twisting and turning motions.
  • Bend your knees, to lift when shoveling. Let the muscles of your legs and arms do the work, not your back.
  • Take frequent rest breaks to take the strain off your muscles. A fatigued body asks for injury.
  • Stop if you feel chest pain, or get excessively tired or have shortness of breath. You may require immediate professional care.
  • If you feel sore after shoveling, apply an ice bag to the affected area for 20 minutes, then take it off for a couple of hours. Repeat a couple of times each day over the next day or two.

So remember not to work yourself too hard and read the whole article by Linda Sadlouskos here!

What to do on days when your sidewalks look like this?
(photo taken by valkyrieh116http://www.flickr.com/photos/valkyrieh116/4348519639/)

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