5 Shoveling Tips to lose weight and stay safe:
There are so many reasons why we should use caution when shoveling snow. If you have tennis elbow or a bad back you need to be particularly careful when shoveling snow. Be sure to use a good quality, lightweight snow shovel that fits your body. Go to the local hardware store and see what feels best for you. One of the worst things you can do is try to shovel your driveway with a small or to large digging shovel. They are just not made to move the snow and will put much more strain on your body.Wearing a support band on your back or any joint hat needs support will take the pressure off your elbow and prevent further flair ups. Even if you’re using a snow blower, wear the support. Operating a snow blower can also put a lot of strain on your elbow or any area that is already stressed.
One of the best things you can do to prevent tennis elbow and back pain is take your time while shoveling. Let the shovel do the work. Small scoops of snow will put less strain on the body.When it comes to protecting your back while shoveling, make sure you keep your back straight. The most important thing to remember is to warm up,take frequent breaks and if your doctor does not recommend it for you-don't do it.Don’t round your back or fully flex forward. Rounding the back while lifting snow will put too much pressure on the lower back. What you should do is brace your back by contracting your abdominal muscles whenever you lift up the snow. Use the flexibility in your hips (hinge at the hips not the back) to squat down to protect the back. You can practice squatting properly by standing face forward, close to a wall and squatting down. The only way you will be able to squat down is with a straight back and you will have to hinge at the hips.Abdominal bracing is a great way to train the body to lift and move while keeping your spine in a safe neutral position. To brace properly first stand up straight, pull your shoulders back and keep your lower back in a neutral position. A neutral position is when your pelvis is not tilted too far forward or back. Tighten up your abdominals but don’t pull them in or stick them out just contract them maintaining the neutral position.A big part of not hurting your elbow or back while shoveling is to follow a preventative program before you go out.