How to Remove Snow Properly

Colorado weather is notorious for bringing extreme weather conditions to places all along the front range. On average, the state sees anywhere from 60 inches, to 80 inches of snowfall, annually. Many areas have strict snow removal laws, requiring residents to clear the sidewalk within 24-hours of when the snow stops falling. Shoveling can be a tough job, and often results in sore muscles, drowsiness, and an aching back. According to WebMD, over 11,000 adults and children are hospitalized each year, simply from shoveling snow.

Remove Snow Properly with These Tips

To prevent injury while shoveling snow, experts tell people to start with an ergonomic shovel. This is anything that will remove the snow with optimum comfort and effectively avoids stress or injury. While using an ergonomic shovel, it’s important to make sure your body is facing the snow you intend to shovel, and your hips and shoulders stay facing forward.

Use the strength in your legs to lift the snow, rather than forcing your back to strain in the lifting process. Avoid tossing or throwing snow from the shovel by walking to the designated area or pile to clear your shovel. Shovel in shifts, and remove small amounts of snow frequently as it falls, rather than letting hefty amounts of snow accumulate on your driveway and walk.

Like any physical activity, it’s important for your muscles to have oxygen and your body to be hydrated. Exerting energy in the cold will cause your body to sweat, and lose vital nutrients that must be replenished quickly. Drinking water before you begin to shovel, and throughout the day that follows, allows your body to absorb some of the fluids and oxygen that is lost while shoveling. This also prevents you from becoming dehydrated, and losing consciousness.

Colorado’s high altitude can be another cause for concern when it comes to shoveling snow. Staying hydrated and well fueled is the best way to approach the daunting task of shoveling. Pacing yourself and listening to your body is ultimately the best option when it comes to tackling that snowcapped driveway, and preventing yourself from falling victim to a snow shoveling injury.

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