Whether we like it or not, winter in Michigan means
snow, and oftentimes lots of it. So why not try to think of the
positives? Turns out that shoveling that white stuff can actually be
good for your health. Just fifteen minutes of shoveling is considered a
moderate physical activity that provides many health benefits, according
to the Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health (1996).
Unfortunately, slips and falls while shoveling are the largest cause of
emergency room visits and account for 20 percent of shoveling related
injuries (National Safety Council and Health Day News, 2011).
So, how can you reap the health benefits of shoveling and not
become the next patient at your local clinic? Northern Physical Therapy
has a few tips for how to prevent falls and other injuries:
First: Stretch and warm up your muscles before shoveling by walking for a few minutes or marching in place.
Second: Wear rubber soled footwear to decrease the risk of slips or falling.
Third: Stand with your feet hip width apart for
balance and bend at the knees. Lift with your legs and tighten your
stomach muscles and hold the shovel with arms apart to maximize
leverage. If you need to shovel snow to one side, make sure to
reposition your feet in the direction the snow will be going.
Fourth: Use a shovel with a smaller blade to lift
less snow. A shovel of snow can weigh over ten pounds so if possible,
focus on pushing the snow rather than lifting. Most importantly, listen
to your body and stop if you begin to experience pain.
DID YOU KNOW?
A 155 pound person sholveling for 30 minutes will burn 172 calories. Calculate your calories burnt from shoveling