As far as household chores are concerned, snow shoveling is one of the most stressful and traumatic household chores you can do to your spinal cord and muscles.
When shoveling, consider these tips:
- Make sure your body is properly conditioned before donning your winter coat and grabbing your snow shovel. Warmed-up muscles will be less likely to tighten up or snap when under the strains of snow shoveling. You can warm up by taking a brisk walk or doing simple stretching exercises, such as knee-to-chest pulls, trunk rotations, and side bends with hands above your head and fingers locked.
- Layer your clothing to keep from overheating. This helps to keep your muscles warm, and flexible.
- Stand erect and push the snow straight ahead, avoid lifting and tossing heavy loads of snow. And especially avoid twisting when holding a shovel full of heavy snow. Bend at your knees, not your waist, to lift when shoveling.
- Rest frequently to take the strain off your muscles.
- Try to stand as erect as possible.