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Safety Tips for Shoveling Snow

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Safety Tips for Shoveling Snow

Stay Safe This Winter

It is essential to take precautions to ensure your health and safety this winter. If you have any medical concerns or do not regularly engage in physical activity, it is recommended to consult with a doctor before braving the snow.

Below are some of our top tips to keep yourself safe this winter while shoveling snow.

Warm Up Your Arms and Legs

Take a few minutes to stretch your arms, legs, shoulders, and back. Getting your body moving before shoveling will help prevent strain and injury.

Dress Warm

Wear multiple layers of warm clothing to protect your entire body. You can always take off a layer if you get too warm. Remember to cover your head, hands, and feet with a hat, gloves, scarf, and appropriate footwear. Make sure your shoes or boots have good traction to reduce the risk of slipping and falling.

Protect Your Back & Shoulders

To prevent strain on your back and shoulders, use your leg muscles to lift the snow instead of your back. Maintain good posture by standing up straight and avoid hunching over the shovel. Keep the shovel close to your body and avoid twisting your torso. Instead of lifting heavy piles of snow, try pushing it to the side to reduce strain on your back.

Shovel While Snow Is Fresh

Removing snow can be less challenging if it is light and freshly fallen, as opposed to heavier and icy snow that has been sitting for a period of time. It is recommended to shovel periodically during the snowfall rather than waiting until the end when all the snow has accumulated.

Watch for Ice

Be cautious of slippery surfaces to avoid falls and injuries. It is best to salt or sand any potentially icy areas before you begin shoveling.

Take Breaks

Shoveling snow is physically demanding, so it's important to take breaks every 15-20 minutes. Use this time to rest, warm up, and grab a drink to stay hydrated.


Hydration during the cold months is just as important as during the warm months. While taking breaks from shoveling, drink water or sports drinks to stay hydrated.

Your safety is more important than completing the task quickly. Pace yourself and listen to your body. Stop shoveling immediately if you feel any pain, numbness, shortness of breath, or other warning signs that something may be wrong.

If you have a heart condition, high blood pressure, or any other health concerns, consult your doctor before shoveling snow. They may recommend avoiding shoveling altogether or taking certain precautions to keep yourself safe.

Contact Our Experienced Orthopedic Specialists

If you experience any injuries this winter, our orthopedic specialists are here to help. Contact our team today.