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Stretch Before you shovel!

Stretch Before you shovel!

It’s that time of the year when the driveway is getting dumped with snow. Shovelling snow is not an easy task. Did you know you can burn up to 300 calories while shoveling? So this is activity as strenuous as any form of exercising. As with any other form of exercising, there are injuries that can occur with shoveling. Statistics say that around 11,000 individuals suffer injuries from shoveling and go to the hospital every year. Back pain, sore muscles, and herniated disks are the most common injuries that snow shovelers experience. Other injuries include rotator cuff strain/tears, broken bones from slip and fall & heart attack/ strokes.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you get that shovel out.

Warm up

Get your heart rate up with some jumping jacks, squats arm circles and quick walking across the room.


The following stretches can help is preparing your muscles for shoveling and preventing injuries.


Warm up your core by rotating your torso from the left to the right. Don’t use momentum to swing your body, this must be a controlled movement.


Get down on your hands and knees. Round your back up and hold, then arch your back and hold. Repeat several times.


Stand in a doorway with both forearms resting on the door frame. Slightly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the chest. Hold for 30 seconds.


Take your shoulder across the body and over the head as shown below and hold it for 20 secs in each position.


Tilt your neck sideways and hold for 20-30 sec each direction. Bend your neck forward and rotate it to one side, like you were looking at your armpit, hold for 20-30sec each side.


Bend your knee and hold on to your foot while standing and hold for 30 sec. Stand with your legs hip-width apart, bend over at the waist with straight legs, you should feel this in the back of your legs.

Never lift the shovel over the shoulder. Do not overload the shovel. Break into smaller areas.

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