Snow removal is an essential part of maintaining your property throughout the winter. However, it's often easier said than done, as shoveling can lead to strained muscles, overexertion, and falls. To stay safe while doing this winter chore, follow these steps.
How to Stay Safe While Shoveling
1. Stretch & Warm Up
You shouldn't jump into strenuous exercise, whether you're going for a run or handling snow removal. Warming up with some light movements and stretches beforehand ensures your muscles have enough oxygen to function correctly, which ultimately prevents strains and stiffness.
2. Avoid Lifting Heavy Snow
By pushing snow to the side instead of lifting it up, you'll protect your back and the rest of your muscles. However, there may be points where you have to lift the shovel, so make sure you use your legs instead of your back.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
It can be easy to overexert yourself as you shovel, since it doesn't seem like working out. If you stay outside for too long, you can put your muscles and heart under a lot of strain, so take breaks whenever you feel that it's necessary.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Your body requires extra water whenever you exercise to hydrate your muscles and create sweat. This is true even if you'll be out in the cold. Before heading out and whenever you take breaks, make sure you're properly hydrated.
5. Wear Layers
Cold temperatures can make you susceptible to frostbite or hypothermia. Even if you know you’ll warm up as you move your body, wear plenty of winter gear as you head outside. If you feel warm as you work, remove a layer or two.
If you’re concerned about your safety this winter, outsource your snow removal to a professional. Columbia Tree & Lawn Service in Jessup, MD, offers snow removal for customers throughout Howard County. The family-owned company has been serving area residents and businesses for more than 40 years, and they’re licensed and bonded by the state. Visit their website to see a full list of their services, or call (410) 740-5444 to request assistance.