Staying Healthy While Shoveling Snow from Your Yard: 7 Tips to Avoid Injuries

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Shoveling snow can be high risk, with potential slips, falls, heart attacks, and back injuries. All that bending and shoveling can put undue stress on your heart, leading to a heart attack. It can be really dangerous, especially if you do not exercise regularly. So, in this article, we will cover some of the main things you should keep in mind.

Take Basic Precautions

Since snow means cold, you need to dress properly to stay warm. The most common snow removal in Wheaton illnesses includes sore throats, runny noses, and other sicknesses that come as a result of exposure to cold. 

Alongside dressing well, you need to exercise by stretching, walking, or bending side by side to minimize injury.

Prepare Well

Since snow shoveling can be strenuous, it’s crucial to maintain efficiency. Your shovel should be long enough, so you don’t bend too far. This way, you can avoid stressing your back and prevent injury. It’s also important to remain comfortable when lifting the snow by ensuring one hand is as close to the blade as possible. It will not only lessen your effort but also distribute the weight evenly. Some of the items you need include:

  • Ergonomic shovel
  • Normal snow shovel
  • Roof rake
  • Push broom
  • Snow melt
  • Vehicle cover
  • Snowblower

Do Not Reach Too Far

Instead of lifting the snow, push it. If you must lift it, squat and bend your knees while your back remains straight. Next, scoop small amounts of snow and take it to the damping area. Never shovel deep snow all at once, especially if it’s heavy and wet. Also, take breaks accordingly and drink lots of fluids to compensate for muscle exhaustion and sweat.

Shovel Smart

Use anti-icing products to pretreat paved surfaces and walkways to make shoveling easier. Before shoveling, remove snow from the roof using a roof rake. You should also wax with floor wax or candle wax to prevent snow from sticking. Instead of the traditional aluminum shovels, use plastic ergonomic shovels to reduce the load. 

Pace Yourself

This is perhaps the biggest strategy to consider when shoveling snow from your backyard. There’s no point in pushing up to 17 inches of snow in the shortest time possible only to get ill thereafter. Listening to your body and staying within your capacity is, therefore, the best way to prevent heart attack and other cardiovascular issues. 

You also need to avoid long exposure to cold air as this can constrict blood vessels and decrease the amount of oxygen going to the heart. If you experience any of these, stop what you are doing and call for help.

Develop a Plan

Before you embark on the job, it’s important to develop a plan. By planning, you’ll ease the work and avoid moving the snow twice. Ask which sections you should work on first and where the cleared snow will go. Additionally, you need to: 

  • Clear pathways to access areas around the yard.
  • Avoid driving or walking on the snow, if possible. Remember, it’s much harder to remove compacted snow.
  • Pick a few locations to dampen the snow, not just one central location. 
  • Take caution when driving or walking within the vicinity of plow trucks and other snow removal equipment. 

Wrap Up

In 2018, more than 137,000 people were treated for injuries caused by shoveling snow. The most widespread injuries include heart attacks, strains, and sprains, especially in the shoulder and the back, as well as finger amputations and lacerations. 

Bottom Line

Since injuries and pain from shoveling snow happens quite often, it’s crucial to prepare yourself well and prevent such injuries. You also need to shovel smart and take basic precautions. Most importantly, listen to your body and call for help if it’s alerting you of any damage. Never work through the pain, as it will lead to injuries that can become chronic.

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