RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - "If you're not ready to walk up a great big hill, you're probably not ready to shovel snow," Anthony Price said. Price is the associate wellness director at the YMCA in Rapid City. He broke down some reasons people get hurt shoveling snow in the winter.
Body positioning is an easy way to hurt oneself. Bending at the waist and rounding the shoulders can put the work in the back instead of the legs. Also, standing with the legs together takes the strength out of them.
The proper position is to spread out the legs, and keep the back and shoulders flat. Price said to imagine pushing a car, and use that same stance.
It isn't just muscles and bones to be concerned about. The heart works more shoveling snow than one might realize.
Sometime people "go out and they'll start shoveling a driveway, and then not realize 45 minutes or an hour later, they're three quarters of the way done, and they've put in 40 minutes of cardio exercise; when they haven't done a lick of cardio exercise in 20 years."
Price recommends starting a cardio routine before the snow shoveling season begins, so your body is accustomed to the work ahead of time.
If you aren't comfortable with the work, Price said to just hire someone. A clear driveway isn't worth getting hurt over.