Maintenance Tips for Shoveling Snow

Posted by Dan Wolf on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 4:40pm.

One of the many reasons that you may have moved to Alaska is because you enjoy the marked differences among seasons. For example, you look forward to a winter that's cold and full of now. While you may enjoy the falling flakes and play in the white powder, you'll eventually have to get out of your house and head for school or work. You can only do that if you shovel snow effectively by following these tips.

  Treat It as Exercise

Shoveling snow is hard physical labor, as taxing as any gym workout. Just as you would before any exercise, you want to warm your body up by jogging in place and moving you arms and back multiple times. Don't forget to stretch the body parts you expect to use including your back, shoulders, and hamstrings. Then start slowly and pace yourself. Remember, it's not a race.

Use Your Body Properly

Depend on your largest muscles, the legs, to handle the snow. Rather than bending your back, squat low and then use your legs and shoulders to push your shovel in the snow. Keep your back as straight as possible and keep the shovel close to your body as you stand and lift the snow. Avoid twisting the body. Put the first scoop of snow further away from where you're standing and then get closer as you add more piles. This allows you to move shorter distances later when you get more tired.

Go Easy

Even though you're surrounded by frozen water, you'll get thirsty. Bring several bottles of water with you but keep them in an insulated chest or in your car, so they don't freeze up. Then keep hydrated by regularly taking a sip. Rest frequently. You may end up shoveling hundreds or thousands of pounds of snow before you're done. When you finish, don't forget to stretch. If you're sore, take ibuprofen and use an ice pack to handle any inflammations.

If you want more home maintenance tips, especially for the cold weather, please contact us.

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