How to shovel safely and fitly

As winter storm season begins on mainland Canada in the northern hemisphere, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you of the fitness benefits and safety issues arising from snow removal.

Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash Image shows a figure silhouetted in blowing snow.

Last January I looked at the dearth of research on women and snow removal. Check out the full post or if you woke up to a metric tonne of snow, here are a few tips for you:

  1. As you would with any other strenuous exercise, warm up your muscles before you start.
  2. Dress appropriately. Dress in layers as you will sweat. Wear a hat to keep heat in.
  3. Assess any potential danger (piles of snow on the roof of your porch, your car, or trees). Also look at where you plan to throw your snow. Be kind to your neighbours.
  4. Use a shovel that works with your height and use one that is not too heavy to start with.
  5. Take frequent breaks, stretch, and hydrate.
  6. Remember to watch your back: Bend your knees and engage your abs when you’re lifting that shovel full of snow!

2 thoughts on “How to shovel safely and fitly

  1. After not finding the ideal shovel, I now use two shovels. A lightweight plastic shovel with ergonomic bent handle lifts and tosses large volumes of snow. A heavier steel shovel (called a “snow pusher”) scrapes down to clear pavement. No need for salt or sand except after ice storms.

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