3 tips to avoiding injury when snow shovelingFebruary 4, 2019
Your front yard is a winter wonderland—great for making snowmen, but not so great for getting your car out of the driveway.
Last winter, our team of practitioners saw an influx of clients with snow shoveling-related strains, sprains and injuries. With this in mind, they’ve put together a few tips to help you avoid injury when the flake are falling.
1. Warm up:
Warm up your muscles for 5 -10 minutes BEFORE shoveling. Go through dynamic stretches for your shoulders, back, arms and legs. Some examples of these include:
- rotating the shoulders forward and backward
- making circles forward and backward with your arms
- making circles with your wrists
- light squats and lunges on the spot
- reach down to touch your toes and come back up up, a few times
2. Use proper technique:
Ensure you are engaging the right muscle groups when shoveling:
- Engage your core and your legs when pushing snow.
- Bend down into a shallow squat (lift with your legs!) and engage your core when lifting and moving snow.
- Take a break every 10-15 minutes to give your muscles a rest.
- If you start to feel pain in your shoulders, back, neck or other areas, stop and listen to your body.
3. Cool down:
Spend at least 10 minutes stretching and cooling down after your shoveling workout. Stretch each muscle group for at least 30 seconds including your hamstrings, quads, shoulders, biceps, and back. Use a foam roller or ball to ease out additional muscle tension.
Don’t leave your injuries untreated
If you’ve aggravated an old injury or triggered a new one, don’t leave it untreated. Minor strains can be treated with ice and rest, but anything more significant should be looked at by a health care professional. Our integrated team of practitioners at Fortius are here to help.
Happy snow shoveling!