Anyone who lives in Canada knows the pain associated with shovelling snow. From back pain to muscle aches, shovelling snow is not considered to be a fun experience.
Once the magical part of winter ends, here is how to keep the maintenance part safe for you.
ONE - LAYER IT UP
Wear a synthetic material against your skin to wick moisture away
Should be insulating, such as fleece
Should be wind resistant and waterproof
Wear two pairs of socks - with a wicking pair first, a hat, a face mask to warm the air you are breathing and finally a good pair of winter gloves.
TWO - START SLOWLY
Instead of stretching ahead of time, warm up by pushing and moving small shovels full of snow at a slower pace for a few minutes.
THREE - PROTECT YOUR BACK
Whenever possible push snow out of the way instead of lifting it. But if you can't then
- keep legs apart
- bend knees slightly
- keep back straight
- use legs to lift
- don't twist your body to toss the snow
- scoop small amounts of snow while keeping the shovel close to you.
FOUR - TAKE BREAKS
With deep or heavy snow - start from the top and slowly work your way to the bottom. Take regular breaks and stay hydrated.
Stop immediately if you are feeling unwell or experiencing signs of a heart attack (discomfort in the chest and other parts of the body, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea and lightheadedness).
Some other things to watch for could include dizziness and arm or jaw pain.
Signs of frostbite may be stinging, tingling and numbness.
FIVE - GIVE YOURSELF SOME TLC
You will feel post-shovelling pain within 24-48 hours after the workout.
Mild activity - like walking
Over-the-counter medication (if you have no underlying medical conditions that stop you from having it) should help.
SIX - PUT YOURSELF FIRST
If you have heart disease etc, then maybe consider hiring someone to help you with the activity.