The Best Ways to Shovel Snow

Some accumulating snow is headed our way this week.  Granted it won't be anything too heavy, but you just know it's only a matter of time. 

Unless you have a service to clear off your driveway, sooner or later we'll all be having to remove the snow.  I've done some research and found some helpful advice.  The first is to clear a path to your car, given it's not in a garage.  Have your car warming up and defrosting while you're working on other parts of the driveway. 

The experts recommend shoveling in sections.  A lot of folks also make the mistake of creating huge piles along the edge of the driveway.  Instead, you should spread it out, shoveling a good distance away from your driveway.  It's also important to remember to clear paths for your mail carrier and shovel the snow off the sidewalk in front of your home. 

In terms of shoveling itself, it's recommended to work from the center and push the snow to the side.  It also helps to have a \"pusher\" type of shovel.  It looks like a small snowplow on a shovel. 

Here are some more tidbits from Consumer Reports. When lifting snow, bend your knees, keep your back as straight and vertical as possible, and stand up. The closer your hand is to the scoop, the lighter the load will feel. When pushing snow, keep the handle low, in your hip area, and push using your legs. Take small amounts of snow. And do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side—the twisting motion can stress your back.

Pace yourself and watch for warning signs. Take frequent breaks and replenish fluids to prevent dehydration. If you feel pressure or pain in your chest, or discomfort spreading to your shoulders, neck, jaw, arms, or back, call for an ambulance immediately, chew and swallow an aspirin, and lie down. You could be having a heart attack. People often shovel first thing in the morning, when heart attacks are more likely. That's why doctors advise not shoveling if you have a history of heart attacks. In this case, try to have someone help you.

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