Safe Snow Removal
How are you faring with the blizzard outside?
Here are 5 simple things you can do to reduce injury while clearing snow.
1. Hydrate! Water or herbal tea. It’s cold and it’s windy, you likely won’t sweat or feel it if you sweat. Even mild dehydration mixed with heavy physical activity can increase fatigue, and increase perceived effort. Snow removal is hard enough, why make it feel even harder?
2. Warm Up Exercises: Would you do a high intensity workout without a warm up? Shoveling or Snow Blowing are high intensity exercise. Before heading outside do one round of the pointer exercise.
Pointer: Start with hands and knees on the ground. Slowly raise the right leg and left arm. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Slowly bring them back to the floor and raise your left leg and right arm and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
3. Traction: Does your footwear have traction? If not, do you have microspikes to add to them? It might be too late for this storm, but if you live in New Hampshire, it might not be a bad investment in having a pair with your winter gear. Be careful. Falls can cause more structural injuries than just simple bruises. Pulled muscles, out of alignment hips, and rotator cuff sprains.
4. Small Chunks: Don’t forget to take breaks, come inside, warm up, drink water, eat a healthy snack. The goal is to finish but there is no medal at the end to compete for. Remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
5. Stretch & Soak: Don’t forget post activity care. Stretch out areas that tightened up while working, soak in a hot tub with 1-3 cups of Epson salts, then stretch your legs, back and shoulders.