It’s important to clear snow from sidewalks and driveways, especially if you live in a neighborhood where walking is a way of life. But pay attention to the tips below as they can keep you safe and out of the emergency room.
- Stay on top of the snow before it gets too deep or freezes. Clear the snow every few inches instead of waiting for the snow to stop falling before you head outdoors.
- Wear breathable layers. Layering is typical cold winter weather advice. Wear layers of loose clothing so you can peal a layer off if you get hot. Avoid wearing heavy wool clothing, man-made materials or other materials that don’t allow perspiration to evaporate. Better choices are cotton and silk.
- Watch your feet. Pay attention to what’s on your feet when heading outdoors to shovel snow. Wear quality outdoor winter wear such as waterproof boots with good traction. Good traction is critical to ensuring that you don’t slip and fall.
- Take a few minutes to stretch. Shoveling snow is a workout so you need to stretch to warm up your muscles particularly because you are shoveling snow in the cold weather. Stretching before you start shoveling will help prevent injury and fatigue.
- Push don’t lift. If you push the snow to the side rather than trying to lift the snow to remove it, you exert less energy thereby placing less stress on your body.
- Drink up! Water that is. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. You should drink water as if you were enduring a tough workout at the gym or running five miles.
- Don’t play in traffic. Sometimes people get so focused on the task at hand they don’t pay attention to their surroundings. When shoveling snow near streets, pay attention to the traffic since vehicles may not have good traction in the snow and ice.
- Stay far away when snowplows come down your street. Visibility from these big trucks can be limited, especially when you’re close up.
- Keep your cell phone with you. It’s not like you have to make calls and text while shoveling snow, but it is important to have your cell phone on you so you can make a call in event of an emergency.
Source: Snow and Ice Management Association