Now that the snow has started to fly, these important tips will help keep you out of the office and feeling better.
Winter Care – Stay Safe This Winter Season
While we don’t get the most severe weather here in the Burlington area during winter, each year there are a few times when we are required to pull out that shovel. In the cold months we naturally tend to be less physically active which can lead to increased injuries when we are required to suddenly exert ourselves in brief, yet intense activity. That is why it’s good to be prepared and know how to properly work to avoid any injuries.
Dress for the weather
Layered clothing works better to keep your muscles warm and your skin dry so you don’t get chilled. You may want to invest in clothing designed specifically for winter outdoor activity or layer garments made of natural fibres.
Before tackling any strenuous activity take the time to warm up with some overall conditioning(a 10-to 15-minute walk, even on the spot, should do it), followed by some simple stretching.
Simple Stretches to Warm Up
- Touch your toes
- Side Bends/Stretches
- Arm/Shoulder Circles
- Neck Circles
Pick the right shovel
Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. If you are using a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first, so snow won’t stick to it.
Don’t let the snow pile up
If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shoveling will allow you to move smaller amounts of snow at once.
Push, don’t throw
Always push the snow to the side rather than throwing it. That way you avoid lifting heavy shovelfuls of snow, and sudden twisting or turning movements.
Bend your knees
If you find you have to lift a shovelful of snow, use your knees and your leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.
Take a break
If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Shake out your arms and legs. Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest pain or back pain. If you have back pain that is severe or that persists for more than a day after shoveling, see a chiropractor. If you have chest pain that is severe, see a medical doctor immediately.
Don’t Wait, Get Help Right Away!
Some minor stiffness and tightness are to be expected following shoveling (especially if it has been a while since you have worked your muscles). Heat and rest are recommended in this case. If the stiffness persists for longer than a few hours or if you start to experience pain, make sure to give us a call so we can further assess for injury.