Shovel Smarts

It’s late February now and we’re all hoping that the worst of the winter snow has fallen in Chicago. Some of us spent hours shoveling sidewalks and driveways to dig our way out of that mammoth blizzard. Here are a few things to consider next time the forecast calls for more:

Any repetitive motion is bad for a weak back and heart, especially when heavy lifting is involved. Consider warming up your muscles by stretching before you start shoveling. Try using an ergonomically designed shovel, which will encourage proper shoveling technique. Keep your low back straight and bend at the knees, with your neck and shoulders straight, not rounded. Instead of twisting at the waist, take a step and turn your whole body. Remember to take breaks if necessary.

These tips will help limit your chance of injury and reduce the strain on your joints, discs and organs, making snow shoveling an invigorating, healthy and even enjoyable exercise. For those less enthusiastic about snow removal, hire a neighbor or professional! Who does the shoveling in your house?

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