Snow Shovelling to Prevent Injury
Shovelling snow doesn’t have to be a hassle or a chore. Snow shovelling is actually a fantastic way to promote healthy movement among your joints and muscles when done correctly. It can get your heart rate up, improving your circulation- and like any other exercise involving resistance, snow shovelling will release endorphins and boost your mood. Turns out this commonly dreaded chore actually has more benefits than you thought!
1. Warm Up! Shovelling can sometimes be a strenuous exercise depending on your fitness level and shovelling technique so it’s important that you warm up thoroughly before going outside to clear your driveway. Start getting your heart rate up by engaging in simple movements such as going for a brisk walk or doing jumping jacks in your house before stepping outside. You are much more prone to injury when your muscles are cold. Warming up your muscles allows them to become more flexible and movement will be easier and more comfortable.
2. Stretch. After you have warmed up, stretch your lower back and hamstrings by an attempt to touch your toes (or however far down you are able to reach before you feel a stretch. Let your head and arms hang while you stretch for roughly 60-90 seconds.
3. Do it Right. Once you are ready to actually start shovelling, be sure to always bend over at the hips- not the lower back and always face the object you intend to lift so that your body isn’t in any awkward and unnatural position. This prevents you from overloading your lower back and distributes the weight evenly among your glutes and hamstrings. Avoid lifting too much snow at one time and pace yourself. To avoid slipping, make sure you have a good stance before stepping in another direction. Try and keep both feet fully on the ground before you lift any snow. Please note: If you suffer from heart problems, the right way to shovel is to ask someone else to do it and offer encouragement.
4. Preventative Taping Another technique you can use to effectively minimize your risk of injury while shovelling is to use kinesiology tape on any areas at high risks, such as your hamstrings or lower back. SpiderTech Taping specializes in pre-cuts that are suited for each body part so you don’t have to spend time researching taping methods for your low back- it’s already cut and ready to apply! SpiderTech increases blood flow by stretching and contracting your skin when it’s applied and can also keep your joints and muscles protected from injury if they become overloaded.
5. Snow Shoveling Selfie! Take a quick pic to share with all the other shovelers out there. Everyone looks adorable bundled up and active. Extra points if you shovel your neighbour's sidewalk for them.
Snow shovelling doesn’t have to be something to dread. It has many health benefits and is productive housework all at the same time. Stay injury-free this winter and every season by using SpiderTech and following us on Social Media.