Yes, we said it — the dreaded s-word! As snow begins to fall in parts of the country, it’s time to think about stocking up on winter supplies and that most dreaded of chores — shoveling snow!
Shoveling snow is not easy work, especially if you’re trying to move a heavy, damp snow as opposed to a more fluffy variety. Roy Berendsohn, a writer for Popular Mechanics, has channeled 42 years’ experience into a list of 16 tips. His recommendations?
+ Stretch and pace
Do some light stretching before you begin shoveling, much as you would before a run or other workout. And once you begin the task, resist the urge to speed into it. Build a steady pace and speed up if you feel you can.
+ Move once, not twice
Before you begin, scout out a place to dump the snow. Then, make your first scoop at the farthest point from that place. By the time you finish, you should be within the shortest distance to the dumping point.
+ Proper posture is key
To avoid back and other injuries, maintain proper posture while shoveling. Roy recommends using “your leg muscles as much as possible. Keep your back straight when you move from a squat to upright position. Use your shoulder muscles as much as possible. Hold the shovel as close to your upper body as possible. Keep one hand close to the blade for better leverage. Don’t twist your upper body as you throw snow.”
+ Start early, shovel often
It may seem counterintuitive to shovel several times, but if your area is expected to receive a heavy snowfall, it’s much easier to remove the snow in several lighter stages than to try to shovel a heavy accumulation in one pass. Keep an eye on the snowfall, and as it starts to build, head outside for a quick scrape over the driveway or other surface.
Do you have additional snow shoveling tips? Share your knowledge – we’re all ears!