10 quick tips for safe snow removal

Cleaning up after a heavy snowfall is hard work and it requires the right tools and techniques to avoid strains and other injuries.

Jim Webb, an outdoor living specialist for Lowe’s offers 10 tips to remove snow safely:

1. Consult your doctor before the first snowfall to determine if you’re in the proper health to shovel snow. Age, weight, lifestyle, and pre-existing health conditions may prevent you from being able to remove snow without risk of injury.

2. Wear layers that can be removed as you get warm. Clothes should be loose fitting and breathable. Warm, high traction footwear is imperative.

3. Warm up your body with some light calisthenics and stretching

4. Shovel snow early into the snowfall and perform a touch up later on.  Removing smaller amounts of snow twice can be less strenuous than tackling the entire snowfall at one time.

5.  Invest in a good shovel. Look for one that is sturdy, lightweight, and ergonomically correct.

6. Use a spray oil like Pam, or a household lubricant to coat the blade of your shovel. This will help heavy and sticky snow to slide off.

7. Instead of lifting snow and throwing it, try pushing the snow to where you want it to go. Bend with your knees, not with your back, and avoid twisting through the waist or torso.

8. Apply salt, sand or kitty litter to slippery spots, and to high foot and vehicle traffic areas. This will help prevent slips and falls.

9. Take regular breaks and stay hydrated by drinking water while shoveling.

10. Listen to your body.  If you experience light headedness, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, or excessive aches and pains, stop immediately and seek medical attention.

More information is available online at www.lowes.ca.

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