Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Shoveling the snow

All about shoveling snow and what to use:

Snow shovels

Electric snowblower

Man using the snowblower

Snow Plough used to clear the roads.

Snow can be both beautiful as well as a big pain to anyone who has a driveway, walkway and or sidewalk in front of their home.

Doctors and physiotherapists across Canada are seeing more patients than usual due to snow related injuries.

Chiropractor Steve Riggleman says poor shoveling technique and falls are major issues in the winter.

You should use the legs and arms more by keeping your back straight and bending at the knees. Push the snow forward and when lifting, straighten the knees.

Also, using a shovel that has a Teflon coating keeps the snow from sticking.

Avoid twisting and throwing while holding the weight of the snow as the turning motion can strain the back.

"You shouldn't lift you should push it forward but the problem with this snow is it's so heavy and wet you can't so you have to take little bites but if you pick it up, bend your knees, use your upper body, shoulders and muscles to lift it, you have less chance of an injury," said Riggleman.

Shoveling can be made more difficult by the weather. Cold air makes it harder to work and breathe, which adds some extra strain on the body. There also is the risk for hypothermia, a decrease in body temperature, if one is not dressed correctly for the weather conditions. Make sure you dress in layers to help keep your body heat trapped in between the clothing.

It can be dangerous to shovel snow if you have a heart condition or a bad back. Get someone else to do the hard work if you have any underlying medical condition. Fifteen minutes of shoveling snow is half the exercise you need in a day according to a study done in 1995.

Deciding whether to get a shovel or a snow blower is upto you. If you have a health problem that prevents you from shoveling, or too big an area, then the snowblower would be a better option.

Some people also buy salt that is available in most big stores to put on the driveway and sidewalk. This melts the snow to some extent, making it un-necessary to shovel if you have a very light snowfall. The salt is different from what you cook with, and is big and coarse. See the image below.

Coarse driveway salt

During or after a heavy snowfall you will see snow ploughs (one of the pictures above) on the roads clearing it up immediately. Main roads get cleared first and then the side streets.

Remember, if there is any sidewalk in front of your house, you are responsible for clearing the snow off of that too. If anyone falls and gets hurt because you didn't shovel the walk, you could be fined.

You can a lot more information from this website : www.brampton.ca

Happy winter and safe shoveling everyone!!

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