Snow WOD! How to clear snow & save your back!

Hey bare covers!

At some point, we hope the winter makes its way out of here, but judging by the looks of it outside, we still have a ways to go.  If done properly, shoveling can actually be a pretty good workout!

Here are some tips from Spine Universe on how to shovel effectively, while saving your back:

The Basics
Snow shoveling can be compared to weight lifting, and in some cases, the aerobic aspect of this activity is similar to a workout on a treadmill! To help your body function on demand, consider the following tips:
* Be heart smart! Don’t eat or smoke before shoveling snow. Avoid caffeinated beverages. These are stimulants and may increase heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict.
* If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.
* Pace yourself during shoveling activities.Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Snow shoveling is strenuous work, and it is important to re-hydrate your body often.
* If the ground is icy or slick, spread sand or salt over the area to help create foot traction. Be aware that some areas may be uneven and could cause you to slip, trip, or fall.

Technique. Technique. Technique.
* Warm muscles work better. So take some time to stretch to prepare your body for activity.
* Just like with a golf club, hand placement on the shovel handle is very important! Don’t put your hands (grip) close to one another. Create some distance between the hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift snow.
* Think about good posture and maintaining the natural curve of your spine.
* Address your task directly. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart to maintain balance. Try to keep the shovel close to your body. Bend at the knees—not the waist or back. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Lift with your legs—not your back. Do not twist your body. Dump the snow in front of you. If you need to move the snow to the side, move your feet—do not twist!According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “If you must lift the snow, lift it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovelful of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once; do it piecemeal. Shovel an inch or two; then take another inch off. Rest and repeat if necessary.”
* Don’t throw snow over your shoulder! Go forward with the snow.
* Fresh snow is lighter in weight—so clear snow as soon as it has fallen. Snow becomes dense as it compacts on the ground. Wet snow is very heavy. One shovelful can weigh 20 pounds or more!
* Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks to stretch your back and extremities.


SO get out there & shovel! Hopefully this is the last of this stuff! Be safe everyone! 🙂

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