As pretty as the snow is, it can cause you harm. 

Yesterday Southwest Michigan got some heavy snow and now it is time to dig ourselves out. Shoveling snow can be extremely hard work especially when it is deep and wet snow. Plus, you can seriously hurt yourself.

Travelers.com reported that a national study found that the most common shoveling-related injuries were...

  • The lower back injuries
  • Cardiac-related injuries.

Those are two injuries I would like to avoid, as I am sure most people would. Here are some tips for keeping save will taking care of the snow mess on your drive and walk ways.

  • Warm up. Warm your muscles before heading out to shovel by doing some light movements, such as bending side to side or walking in place.
  • Push rather than lift. Pushing the snow with the shovel instead of lifting can help reduce the strain on your body. When lifting snow, bend your knees and use your legs when possible.
  • Choose your shovel wisely. Ergonomically-designed shovels can help reduce the amount of bending you have to do.
  • Lighten your load. Consider using a lighter-weight plastic shovel instead of a metal one to help decrease the weight being lifted.
  • Hit the pause button. Pace yourself and be sure to take frequent breaks. Consider taking a break after 20 to 30 minutes of shoveling, especially when the snow is wet.
  • Consider multiple trips. Consider shoveling periodically throughout the storm to avoid having to move large amounts of snow at once.
  • Keep up with snowfall. Try to shovel snow shortly after it falls, when it is lighter and fluffier. The longer snow stays on the ground, the wetter it can become. Wet snow is heavier and harder to move.
  • Wear layers. Dress in layers and remove them as you get warm to help maintain a comfortable body temperature.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while shoveling.

And there is no shame in hiring a neighborhood kid to take care of the mess of snow in your front yard!