We all know what it feels like. You start shoveling your snow, then in about a few hours (or in a couple minutes) you can’t leave the coach your back is hurting so bad. There are several reasons why this happens, but here are some tips as to what you can do to make sure you aren’t out of commission this holiday season!

  1. Pay someone to shovel your driveway/sidewalk. I am not kidding. You don’t need to be doing this chore. You can get a heart attack, or hurt yourself. I know that would be good for my business, but this article is about you, not me! Think of it as your own economic stimulus package for Delaware. One of the nicest sights this winter was of those 2 neighborhood boys walking up my driveway with shovels in hand. Thanks, fellas!
    If you do not follow rule number 1, here is the rest of the list:
  2. Start early, start often. Do not let the snow get ahead of you. My personal research over the last month indicates scientifically that more than 2 inches of snow becomes a giant pain in the neck to shovel. Remember, we want to do this the easy, safe way. Snow of less than 2 inches can easily be pushed not shoveled. This brings us to the next point:
  3. Push, don’t shovel. Take a tip from those DelDot snow plows: they push the snow out of the way, they don’t lift it! Try to lift the snow with the shovel as little as possible.
  4. When you have to lift, try not to twist your body. Try to throw the snow directly in front of you, not to the side.
  5. If you have to twist when lifting, do 10 times twisting left, then 10 times twisting right. Count the repetitions. It will give you distraction from cursing yourself from not following rule #1.
  6. After 20 shovelfuls, stand up. You want to reverse all that forward bending that you just did. Catch your breath. Stretch backwards a little. Contemplate Rule #1 again. Smile.
  7. Use the right shovel. Those funny looking, ergonomically correct shovels really are better for you than those short, straight handled shovels. The object is to get you to shovel in a more upright position.
  8. Shovel the driveway using the correct pattern. Yes, there is a right way to shovel the driveway. Let’s say that your driveway is 11 feet wide. Your first pass should be directly down the middle, leaving a 5 foot section on either side of you. Once this is done, face one of the 5 foot sections and PUSH the snow forward toward the side of the driveway. At the end, lift the snow forward in front of you. Continue down the driveway, always keeping your work in front of you.
  9. Stretch out afterwards. Notice that I did not say to stretch out before shoveling. That is because I want you to warm up before shoveling, not stretch. The time to stretch your muscles is after they are warmed up, which they will be after shoveling. Feel free to email our office or call for a sheet of snow stretches. You can warm up before shoveling by taking a short walk around the neighborhood, looking for someone who has a snow blower.

 

So, my sincere hope is that I have given you great information, but too late. I really want no snow in March, but if it comes, you will be ready for it, using my pointers. Now please, please, don’t wear your pajamas backwards!

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