The ‘scoop’ on safe shoveling

The ‘scoop’ on safe shoveling

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Another round of snow, means another round of shoveling. While it’s good exercise, the task of digging out comes packed with dangers.

“We have to remember that we haven’t really shoveled in 8 or 9 months so we have to treat it like getting back into the gym for the first time,” said Dr. Seth Nelson of Rising Sun Chiropractic + Weight Loss in St. Peter.

That’s why health officials advise the following: Take breaks and use good form.

“Never twist when you are shoveling but use your hips to hinge. So if we have to bend forward we are using our leg muscles and butt and we are hinging like we would squat. It’s often one of the safest ways to get power behind what we are doing and also protect our shoulders and lower back,” said Dr. Nelson.

Do not overload the shovel.

“It is easier to do more reps with less weight. So less snow on the shovel. Move it more times. I’d rather have you lift the shovel 50 times and feel great than 5 times and get hurt,” said Dr. Nelson.

Stretch before and after.

“When you get done with shoveling move around a bit before you sit, often that “ouch my back is killing me I cant’s stand up” (feeling) can be alleviated,” said Dr. Nelson.

Shoveling raises heart rate and blood pressure. If your chest feels tight, stop immediately.

In addition snowfall brings slippery sidewalks and rough terrain for the vulnerable population. That’s why people are encouraged to help keep sidewalks clean.

“People with disabilities or use wheelchairs or walkers, it’s really important that we have clear sidewalks and curb cuts. Because that’s there lifeline to get to the grocery store or even the bus stop. So it’s important we keep our bus stops clear and free” said Smiles Center for Independent Living Executive Director, Bonnie Danberry.

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