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Snow Shoveling Safety Tips: 6 Ways You Can Stay Safe While Shoveling Snow This Winter

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips: 6 Ways You Can Stay Safe While Shoveling Snow This Winter

If you live in a cold area, you probably spend a lot of your mornings shoveling snow during the winter. But snow shoveling isn't just a chore -- it's a workout! And like any workout, shoveling is physically demanding and can even be dangerous when approached carelessly. Read on for tips on how to do it safely and get the most out of shoveling.

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1. Dress and Gear Up Properly

  • Dress in layers to trap heat in.
  • A hat is necessary -- most body heat leaves through the top of your heat.
  • Warm gloves will keep your hands safe from frostbite and help you get a better grip on the shovel's handle for a more stable form.
  • Good boots provide stable traction.
  • Use an ergonomically correct shovel with a curved handle to reduce stress on your spine.
  • Wear something bright and reflective if shoveling on dark mornings or evenings.

2. Warm Up

This is so important. For many people, snow shoveling is a first-thing-in-the-morning job. But it's best to wait 45 to 60 minutes after waking up before you shovel, and doing a warm-up exercise first. Consider walking a mile on a treadmill, or doing a couple sets of 12 to 15 knee grabs and several sets of arm circles.


Don't forget to hydrate and eat before and during shoveling! Check out this list of pre-workout nutrition tips for ideas on the most effective foods you can eat before a long morning of shoveling.


3. Consider Your Form

As with any physical activity, your form and posture will affect your comfort and physical stability. Snow shoveling can be very stressful on the body

  • Stay tall, bend at the knees (not the waist or back)
  • Lift with your legs, with your feet spaced apart
  • Keep your core engaged
  • Keep a wide grip on the shovel, with one hand on the handle and the other closer to the head.
  • Don't twist and throw.

You may also want to consider pushing the snow with your shovel rather that lifting it, especially in cases of wet, heavy snow. This brings us to our next tip...

4. Know Your Snow

Adjust your shoveling to the type of snow. If you've got a driveway full of heavy, wet snow, don't try to lift too much on your shovel at once!

5. Take Breaks

Fatigue isn't a failing. It's a sign that your body needs a break. Consider taking a break every 20 to 30 minutes while shoveling. Let your heart rate settle, get warm, have a snack, stay hydrated. Listening to your body prevents more injuries than you might realize.

The Best Exercise and Fitness Products at Mountainside Medical Equipment

6. Visit Mountainside Medical Equipment for the Best Exercise, Fitness, and Physical Therapy Products

If you're trying to get more exercise in order to improve your mobility and build stronger bones, visit Mountainside Medical Equipment! We've got everything from vitamins to heart rate monitors to topical pain gels like Mountain Ice Sports Recovery Gel to get you active and on your feet. Click this link to visit our exercise and fitness products!

Please consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional before stopping or starting any medications, supplements, or health regimens. 

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