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Stay on top of shoveling

Photo: sdominick/iStockphoto

A neighborhood blanketed with freshly fallen snow can be a beautiful sight. But for safety’s sake, your driveway and sidewalks will have to be cleared. Time to grab the shovel!

Before you do, though, let’s review some safe snow shoveling tips from the Snow and Ice Management Association:

  • Don’t let snow pile up – stay on top of the job. “When there’s a heavy snow, the best advice is to stay ahead of the storm. Clear the snow every few inches instead of waiting for the snow to stop falling before you head outdoors.”
  • Layer up. “We suggest wearing layers of loose clothing so you can peel a layer off if you get hot.” The association recommends avoiding heavy wools, synthetic clothing or other materials that don’t allow your perspiration to evaporate. “Better choices are cotton and silk.”
  • Wear proper footwear. You can’t go wrong with waterproof boots that have good traction.
  • Warm up your muscles. Before heading outside, take a few minutes to stretch. This will help prevent injury and fatigue, the SIMA says.
  • Push, don’t lift. Once you’re ready to start shoveling, remember to push the snow to the side rather than trying to lift it and throw it in a pile. Pushing requires less energy, which puts less stress on your body.
  • Stay hydrated. Take frequent water breaks.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. “When shoveling snow near streets, pay attention to the traffic since vehicles may not have good traction in the snow and ice.”

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