Healthy Tips for Shovelling Snow

Healthy Tips for Shovelling Snow

By Steve Nagy -RMT & Osteopathy (thesis writer)

With the change of seasons, I would like to offer some sound advice before the snow falls and have included some suggestions for clearing the pretty white snow from our driveways and sidewalks.

If you have preexisting back conditions, consider working in short durations so as not to fatigue or irritate your spine.  If there is any chance of irritating a bulged disc, use extreme caution and better yet, find a young strong individual who could use a few dollars.  It may be a wise investment.  If all is well, before heading outside, begin with some hip circles while indoors and your body is warm  This will energize your spine and put some additional blood into the muscles for fuel.  Gentle toe touches without bouncing at the bottom will also get you ready to tackle the flakes.

If you have a single or double driveway, begin with your spine relaxed and shovel blade on the ground at a slight angle.  Start from your garage door and mark a path down the mid-line to the street so as to cut the driveway into two halves. The angled shovel will allow the snow to glide to the side so that you are not pushing the entire amount in front of the shovel.  Now return to the top of the driveway with the same angled shovel technique.  Now you have a space.  The snow to each side of the space will be directed to that side of the driveway.  I like to think that the snow didn’t fall all at once, so you shouldn’t try to remove it all at once either.  If is is light and shallow, take a shovel width of snow and direct it from the halfway space to the driveway edge walking at a casual pace.  When reaching the end, with the strength of the legs and a gentle lift, direct the snow off the driveway.  Now turn around and walk to the mid-line and grab a shovel width from the mid-line to the edge, gentle lift and continue.  If the snow is too deep, use a half shovel width or less so that you can maintain a gentle walking speed without feeling any back strain.  If you anticipate a heavy snowfall, try to tackle your driveway in stages so that it doesn’t pile up too high.

  • Remember to take your time.
  • Work within your limits.
  • Treat your back and heart with proper respect.
  • Warm up before going outside.
  • Lift with your legs and don’t try to heave the snow with your back.
  • A gentle pace can make clearing snow healthy exercise.