Shoveling snow isn't usually one of our favorite activities. That's why many of us want to get it done as quickly as possible. But it's important to make sure you are using the proper technique when shoveling or you could end up with a serious injury that takes months to recover from.
You might not think shoveling snow could be dangerous, but every year more than 11,000 Americans end up in the hospital because of the activity.
Physical Therapist Al Holm says you should stretch inside before heading outside to shovel. Some good stretches include lying on the floor and bringing your knee to your chest. You can also do a stretch called the bridge to get your back and hip ready to shovel. Stretching does not have to take a long time. You should be able to stretch in three minutes.
Holm also says not everyone should shovel. If you have heart problems or have had a major back or neck injury, you should find someone else to do the work for you.
Holm recommends using your legs, not your back, to shovel. You also should buy a good shovel. When you get ready to throw the snow, Holm says you should pivot and throw, instead of twisting your back.
Holm also says that you don't have to do all your shoveling at once. You can take breaks, and you should always be able to breathe well enough to carry on a conversation.