Whether you use a shovel, snow blower, a plow or some other form of heavy machinery, you've got to clear your driveway and sidewalks somehow. But how do you clear a path if you are not up to the challenge?
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Snow Shoveling Safety
The Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) offers these tips for those who choose to take on the cold, sweat and tears associated with digging yourself out:
- Wear layers: SIMA says wearing layers of loose clothing allows you to peel some off as you become active and warm. They also say to avoid wearing heavy wools, manmade materials or other materials that don’t allow perspiration to evaporate.
- Wear winter footwear: Wearing quality waterproof boots with good traction is very important. "Good traction is critical to ensuring that you don't slip and fall," SIMA says.
- Loosen up: Take time to stretch and get limber before you start. "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," explains SIMA.
- Push, don't lift: SIMA says pushing the snow to the side instead of trying to lift the snow to remove it helps you exert less energy. Pushing also places less stress on your body. "If deeper snow is in need of removal, take it in layers," suggests SIMA.
- Stay hydrated: SIMA recommends taking frequent breaks and drinking lots of fluids. "You should drink water as if you were enduring a tough workout at the gym or jogging."
- Utilize equipment: If possible, use equipment that can remove more snow with less time/effort, to increase your efficiency and reduce the amount of labor needed.