Shoveling Done Right!

As 10+ inches of wet heavy snow fell upon Philly and the surrounding suburbs, my wife Christine and I were arguing to get out there first and shovel.  Most couples would argue to stay in but we look at it as a great workout and race to see who can get out there first.  We are sick, I know J

As I was out shoveling I noticed other neighbors having a hard time and realized it would be a great blog to help others shovel easier.  So here are some tips…

  1. Save your back: Most people bend over as they shovel and place a ton of stress on their lower back.  My advice is to bend your knees and let your leg muscles do the work!shoveling pic
  1. Hand placement is key: I keep one hand on the handle and slide my other hand as close to the shovel as possible when lifting the snow.  This helps to keep the weight of the snow closer to my body.  Example:  Take a 25lb weight and hold it with both hands at your chest.  Now extend your arms with that weight.  It gets significantly heavier as you move away from your chest.  Shoveling is the same.  Keep the snow close as you lift it.
  1. Alternate hands: Going with the above tip.  If the snow is heavy; you want to alternate your hands every 3-4 lifts.
  1. Take short breaks: Every few minutes put the shovel down and breathe.  This will actually help you to get the work done faster.  Why? Because a short break will rejuvenate your body and reduce fatigue.
  1. Listen to music: Many studies show that listening to fast paced music helps to get a better workout.  Shoveling snow is no different.
  1. Dress appropriately: Most people make the mistake of over bundling their clothes.  I wear something warm but light.  Remember as you shovel your body temperature will naturally rise.  Dress as if it’s 15 degrees warmer J
  1. Help your neighbors: If your neighbors are elderly and you are young and healthy; shovel for them too! One day you might need a young neighbor to return the favor.
  1. Pay someone: If you’re older or not in good health; pay someone to shovel for you.  A few years ago I have a friend whose father had a heart attack and died while shoveling.  Shoveling is strenuous on your body and it’s worth a few bucks to stay safe.
  1. Stay Hydrated:  You may not realize how dehydrated you can get shoveling, since you are cold, but you will be sweating and losing fluid, so be sure to drink plenty of water!