Correct Ways To Do Winter Chores

The winter season means preparing your home and family for the weather and doing work after the snowstorms. Many people find that the chores around winter seem to be endless, including everything from chopping wood to shoveling snow. Be sure to keep your safety and health your top priorities by responsibly doing winter chores.

Many individuals suffer from back pain-- up to 90 percent of people have had back problems, according to Cleveland Clinic. Often, this occurs while doing chores. By taking proper precautions before any strenuous physical activity, you can protect your health. Make preparations like using the right tools, knowing your limits, and preparing beforehand. Also, take time to recuperate after the chores to help your body.


Stretching Before Doing Chores

Warming up muscles with stretching before doing chores is an important way to protect yourself. It helps to keep the blood flowing in your body and prevents unnecessary strain. Stretching helps to remove tension in your back from building up and potentially causing a painful injury.

Full body stretches, such as yoga postures, give a well-balanced stretch. There are a few you can do on your own that will have positive benefits.

One good stretch to try is to hold your hands above your body for a count of 30 seconds. Be sure to feel the stretch up your back. Move from side to side gently to engage the muscles in the torso.

Next, you can try bending over and touching your toes. It’s okay to bend your knees, and over time you will see that your body has more flexibility.

A third stretch to try before taking on winter chores are side bends. You can use a chair to assist in maintaining balance, and as a prop for leg stretches. Stretching enhances physical stability and warming up your muscle groups before doing strenuous chores is a fun way to prepare. This gets the blood flowing, so you do a great job.

You can also try gentle movement like walking in place when you are preparing for shoveling snow and other winter chores. Light exercise helps make your mind more alert and prepares the body for doing chores.


Correct Way to Shovel Snow

According to a national study, 34 percent of incidents related to snow shoveling, were lower back injuries.

When you are shoveling snow, push instead of lifting. Using your legs reduces the strain on your back. Work with the snow by digging the blade in and lifting with your knees.

If you feel overexerted at all, pause for 20 minutes. Have a snack or a glass of water, sit down, and don’t try to get all the shoveling done at once. Doing it in batches makes it easier and saves your muscles from working too hard. Try to take a break every 20 to 30 minutes. Breaks are especially important when shoveling wet snow.

While you are shoveling, try to rotate which side of the body you use to throw the snow. You can balance the strain put on the body this way.

If you can, and it is safe to do so, try to shovel periodically throughout the storm. Also, shovel right after a snowfall. Snow is fluffier and lighter to shovel right after it falls down.

Wear light layers so your body can stay at a comfortable temperature when shoveling. Remember to stay hydrated while you’re shoveling.


Which Type of Shovel Is Best

Experts recommend using a kinked shaft shovel for the best efficiency when shoveling snow. An ergonomic shovel is more comfortable to hold and use, which means better snow shoveling.

A shovel that has a curved handle or adjustable handle can minimize the bending you’ll have to do, which can be painful.

A lighter shovel may also make shoveling easier. Try to find one made out of lighter plastic rather than heavy metal. Less weight makes the repetitive movement of shoveling gentler on the back.


Spreading Salt

Carry a bucket with under 10 lbs of salt in it, so you do not hurt yourself or strain your back. Don’t try to do the whole bag at once. Spreading the salt, gravel, or kitty litter can help you to prevent injury from slipping.

Be sure to rest after your chores to make sure your body gets all of the recuperation that it needs to feel better. Proper rest, as well as an Epsom salt bath, can help ease some pain.

Are you looking for professional advice when it comes to your back health? Schedule an appointment and consultation with Apps Chiropractic today. We can help you with back and spine concerns all year long. Be sure to visit us this winter to keep up your health.