Winter may have its finer points, but they’re often lost on those responsible from removing snow from driveways, sidewalks, and even rooftops. For them, winter is much more often about sore muscles, achy backs, and frostbitten toes.
Even if you’re lucky enough to own a snow blower, plowing through a foot (or more!) of heavy, packed snow is still no easy task.
That’s why we offer you these few but practical tips to help make snow shoveling (and snow blowing) a little easier and injury-free.
Health first. Snow shoveling is a strenuous activity, so consult your doctor if you have a heart condition, are prone to asthma attacks, or suffer other respiratory issues. If you’re physically not up to the task, enlist the help of a neighbor or family member.
Prepare ahead of time. Stock up on ice melt, rock salt, or sand for those icy patches. Make sure you have a couple sturdy, light-weight, ergonomically designed shovels, and inspect your snow blower before using it.
Warm up. Before heading out in the snow, do some warm-up exercises to help loosen those muscles, especially if you don’t exercise very often.
Bundle up. Dress in warm, water-proof layers, and keep your head, ears, and hands covered properly. Keep your toes from getting cold with thick wool socks or a couple pairs of regular socks. If your boots or shoes don’t do a great job of keeping your feet dry, put on a pair of socks, cover with a plastic food storage bag, and add another pair of socks. It may look a little odd, but who cares if it keeps your feet warm and dry?
Shovel frequently. If your area is expecting more than an inch or two, don’t wait until the snow stops falling from the sky to clear it. Even the white, fluffy stuff can get packed and heavy.
Take a break. Don’t put more strain on your body than it can handle. Take frequent breaks to prevent back, neck, and muscle injuries and exhaustion.
Lend a helping hand. Check in on your elderly neighbors and family members, and give them a hand if they don’t have anyone to clear their driveways or sidewalks.
Of course, one good thing about snow removal is finishing the job and returning inside your nice warm house. Speaking of which, you can help your heating system keep you and your family nice and warm by scheduling a preventative maintenance check-up. It’s a job that should be done once a year by people like us: the highly trained and experienced home comfort professional at Baylor. Click here to learn more. http://www.baylorinc.com/heating-2/service-repairs/