With the first big snow fall having arrived, we should discuss what everyone dreads. The shoveling of your driveway that seems much longer as soon as there is snow. For most of us, shoveling recruits a lot of different muscles that we are not used to working.

Therefore, before you grab your shovel to start clearing your driveway, look over these helpful hints to keep your back and upper body safe.

First, think of shoveling as a leg workout. Use your legs!! Instead of hinging at your spine and back, bend at your hips and knees to pick up the snow.s. This will relieve a lot of the pressure on your back.

Next, keep the shovel close to you when you lift the snow. This will also prevent back strain from reaching and extending your back muscles while lifting the snow.

Third, don’t try to lift as much snow as humanly possible each time. It will be more effective and safer to shovel lighter loads. This will also help prevent injuries.

Fourth, turn your feet with your body when you go to throw the snow out of your driveway. Instead of keeping your head down and your feet forward while blindly throwing the snow over your shoulder, pick up the snow, using your legs, and turn your body to face the snow pile before tossing it. Otherwise, the torque you put on your back may lead to major injuries.

Also, switch between shoveling righty and lefty. This will keep you working different muscles which will lessen the likelihood of soreness the next day. Also, it is good to even your body out using both sides. This is a great way to practice using your non-dominant side!

Lastly, move at your own pace and don’t wait for all 12 inches to fall before you head out and shovel. Try to shovel every 3-5 inches to lighten the load.

Although shoveling might seem like a hassle and completely unenjoyable, try to find some positivity being outside in the fresh air. Or just make your kids do the shoveling…