- Before heading outside, take 10 minutes to do some stretching and warm up your muscles before the heavy lifting begins.
- Before, during and after keep yourself hydrated. Replenish the fluids lost due to sweating and exertion. Extra water also helps to flush lactic acid from the muscles (lactic acid can be a culprit behind muscle aches)
- Be sure to dress warmly so that muscles aren't exposed to cold air, which can cause them to tighten and spasm. Also, wear boots with good traction to avoid slipping.
- Practice good body mechanics: As much as possible try to push the snow rather than lift it. Watch your posture and avoid rounding your low back. Instead brace your core, by being in pelvic tilt, to help support your spine.
Keep the shovel close to our body and walk to where you plan to dump the snow, planting your feet really well with each step. Toss snow forward, using your arms and shoulders (don't lean forward) rather than twisting or rotating (twisting and rotating are culprits in herniated discs)
Keep your knees soft and bent and be sure to use your hips and the large muscles in your legs to lift. Take breaks to give muscles a resting phase.
Not sure about posture and body mechanics? Ask me at your next session! I'm happy to show you some great techniques for protecting your back.