6 Pain Free Shoveling Tips
Since we often get calls from customers during storms, asking how best to prepare their muscle for shoveling, we offer some tips below so all can stay safe and healthy while fighting the elements and shoveling driveway and walkways.
1. Keep Yourself Hydrated
You may be surprised to know that your body uses more water in winter than in the summer. That’s because it takes a lot of energy to keep warm, and the heat generated to maintain a stable temperature uses up moisture. Drink plenty of water, and avoid coffee, non-herbal tea and soda as caffeine is dehydrating.
2. Stretch Beforehand
Be sure to stretch and warm up before working outdoors, as cold muscles are more easily injured. Then afterwards stretch and cool down
3. Invest in a Good Shovel
An ergonomic snow shovel will make it easier on your body. One with a curved handle or an adjustable-length handle will minimize bending while keeping the shovel blade on the ground. Choose a smaller, lighter model to prevent strain and injury, and use your knees to lift instead of your back.
4. Maintain Proper Posture
- Use your leg muscles as much as possible, pushing the snow when you can. Then use your legs to lift when you're unable to push.
- Keep your back straight as you move from a squat to an upright position.
- Hold the snow shovel close to your upper body, and use your shoulder muscles as much as possible.
- Do not twist your upper body as you throw snow. Pace yourself, and lift light loads, to prevent strain and injury.
- Do not shovel after eating or while smoking.
- Never let your breathing get heavy and labored, and don’t let your heart race—stop and rest whenever you feel your body is getting stressed.
5. Grab the Topricin
Before and after shoveling or being outdoors in the snow, we recommend applying a good amount of Topricin. When applied beforehand, it helps maintain vibrant micro capillary blood flow in your extremities and helps maintain a more constant blood flow. Applied afterwards, it stimulates maximum blood flow to chilled extremities, helping to get them warm more quickly. It also eases the aches and pains of exertion by helping the body to heal the damage that’s causing the pain.
6. Check with Your Doctor
Snow shoveling places a great deal of stress on the heart, so if you have a medical condition or do not exercise regularly, speak with your doctor about whether or not you should undertake the task.