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10 Snow Shoveling Tips for Beginners

The first snowfall of the season is often one of the most beautiful sights to behold. The glittery white blanket that spreads across the land as far as the eye can see can make you stop for a moment and marvel.

While the sight of snow can bring out the inner child to gleeful excitement in almost anyone, the task of shoveling the snow out of the way to avoid slips and falls is certainly a damper. Shoveling away the snow that falls in and around the house and driveway is unavoidable. Even in case of little snowfall, you have to make sure that the places where there is more footfall are clear.

A slippery sheet of ice can lead to bone-breaking falls if it isn’t cleared in time. As soon as the snow starts, and the driveway gets covered in a blanket of snow, you should take out the shovel and get to work.

Before you start shoveling snow from your house, you must keep the following snow-shoveling tips in mind to do it properly:

Lawn Care:

The winter season usually takes the burden of lawn care off your shoulders. However, lawn care cannot totally be avoided, and you should take steps to ensure that your lawn is ready for the fast-approaching spring season.

For areas that receive a lot of snowfall throughout the year, such as Calgary, it is often advised to limit the snow’s effects on the lawn. Moreover, limit foot traffic and the use of salt over the snow covering the lawn, so that the salt doesn’t affect the soil underneath.

If you do live in Calgary and are at a loss for what measures you could take to get rid of the snow without damaging the lawn, then you should hire professionals at commercial landscaping Calgary ab, who will employ the right landscaping techniques to have your lawn ready for the after-winter seasons.

Avoiding Accidents:

If you are someone who is used to snowy winters and snowstorms, you know the whole shoveling routine and might have done your fair share of shoveling snow.

However, for someone who has not experienced snow a lot in their life, shoveling can be challenging, especially when the snow really pours.

No matter what you do, you have to make sure that the snow is removed before it can melt and refreeze. Once the snow refreezes, it becomes slippery and will lead to slips, falls, and bruises, if not outright bone breaking.

On shoveling-related injuries, it is found that they usually affect the lower back.

To avoid these injuries, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Warm up and stretch before you step out for shoveling
  2. Wear warm, insulated clothes to stay warm and avoid extreme fluctuations of temperature experienced by the body
  3. Wax the blade of your shovel to make it harder for the snow to stick to it while shoveling
  4. Take periodic breaks to ensure that you don’t over-exert yourself

Heart Conscious Attitude:

If you are someone with a history of heart diseases or if heart problems are prevalent within your family, make sure you consult your healthcare provider before you pick up that shovel.

Due to temperature difference between your body and the snow outside, your body can get severely affected and prone to diseases, like colds and flu. Similarly, as you exert yourself harder while shoveling, chances for a heart attack increase.

As per the American Heart Association (AHA), walking through dense, heavy, and wet snow can make your heart experience greater strain as you need to exert greater effort to get through it.

Multiple Trips:

Instead of going out on a single snow-shoveling excursion, you are better off taking multiple trips. This would not only lessen the load but will also help you exert less effort each time. If you have a kid, you can make them shovel for a while to make them get in the habit of working around the house and getting a bit of exercise.

Shoveling When the Snow Is Lighter:

If you wait for the snowfall to stop and the weather to clear up, it will only make shoveling ten times harder. This is because the longer snow stays on the ground, the wetter it becomes and, hence, becomes much heavier. You should rather keep up with the snowfall and shovel as it is happening. At the time when snow is falling, snow is much easier to shovel since it’s lighter, fluffier, and easier to manage.

Drink Plenty of Water and Stay Hydrated:

Most people think that the body doesn’t lose a lot of water content in the winter seasons – that isn’t true. Strenuous activity, like shoveling, often require a lot of exertion and result in a great amount of water loss from the pores.

Pushing Rather Then Lifting:

If you want to reduce the strain caused by shoveling to a great degree, the best choice is to push the snow with an ergonomically designed shovel. When you come to the lifting step, bend your knees and lift with your legs for greater leverage.

Protect Your Back:

Rather than bending the back, bend at the knees and make sure that your knees are far apart enough to help you keep balance. Keep the shovel close to your body, so if you slip you can use the shovel to prevent the fall or to correct your balance. Don’t pick up too much snow at once in your shovel as it will just make lifting it harder.

Take a Nice Warm Shower:

After you are done shoveling snow, go inside, sit down, and let your body relax for a bit. Run a nice warm shower or bath for yourself to help your muscles relax, avoid cramps and sores the next day, and recover faster.

Feeling sore all over the very next day is completely normal. Do some light stretching and rest for as long as you can to relax your muscles.  

Bottom Line:

The holiday season brings with it snowfall. You should start shoveling as soon as the snow starts falling and gathering over the driveway. Clear it while it’s light. Make sure you have cleared it with the shovel before it can refreeze. The above tips will help you become a better snow shoveler.

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