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With several feet of snow hitting New Jersey already this year, there’s a good chance you’ve spent more than your fair share of time shoveling. We know it’s not everyone’s favorite activity, but Redefine Healthcare can help make it easier and finish out this winter injury-free. 

Proper Snow Shoveling Technique

Using the proper technique for shoveling snow can prevent injury and increase efficiency. Moving heavy shovels full of snow repeatedly without proper form can put you at huge risk of injury. 

  1. Warm up. Just as you would for other forms of exercise, loosen up with some stretches and bring your heart rate up gradually with some light calisthenics prior to shoveling. 
  2. Grip near the shovel blade to keep it close to you when lifting the snow to reduce strain on your back.
  3. When lifting, squat with your legs apart, knees bent, and back straight. 
  4. Work different muscles by switching between a right-handed and left-handed stance. 
  5. Your shovel doesn’t need to be full of snow every time! Shoveling smaller amounts for a longer amount of time can be less strenuous than trying to toss heavy chunks. 
  6. Take breaks. Snow shoveling can be equivalent to both aerobic exercise and strength training. We recommend staying outside for no longer than 40 minutes at a time. Break up that chunk of time into 10- or 20-minute intervals and drink plenty of water.
  7. Make shoveling a workout. If you’re shoveling snow properly, you’ll be working your glutes, hamstrings, quads, abs, lower back, upper back, and shoulders. Once you nail your form, make shoveling a double-duty chore and up the fitness factor! 

Common Snow Shoveling Injuries

  1. Back Injury
  2. Shoulder Pain
  3. Pulled or Strained Muscle
  4. Injury From Falling or Slipping

While we hope you’ve made it through the past couple snowstorms injury-free, if you’ve sustained any of the following injuries or are experiencing back pain, neck pain, or any other symptoms, see the pain experts at Redefine Healthcare. Schedule an appointment by calling (732) 906-9600 or at RedefineHealthcare.com. 

 

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