Shoveling snow from your driveway or sidewalk is never fun, but it is also unavoidable especially if you live in an area that usually experiences snowfall in the winter months. Even if there is a slight snowfall it is always a good idea to shovel snow away before it melts and refreezes which can cause a sheet of ice to form on your driveway which is a real hazard.
What is an Ergonomic Snow Shovel?
An ergonomic snow shovel is one that is designed in such a way as to ease the stresses and strains you would normally put on your body when having to do the strenuous task of clearing your driveway, sidewalk or deck of snow in winter. The handle of these types of snow shovels are designed to allow you to maintain a good posture when shovelling snow as well as enabling you to use your stronger muscles to do the work.
So it reduces the fatigue you might feel in your arms and legs when shoveling as well as preventing back aches. These handles have a bend which is at a very sharp angle back to the top of the handle. This design ensures that you have to bend a lot less when shoveling.
How long does a Snow Shovel Last?
A good snow shovel does not have a specific lifespan. If you maintain your snow shovel well, ensuring that you dry it off before storing it away, the shovel can last for a reasonable length of time.
Top Snow Shovel Tips
Snow shoveling can be very labor intensive and quite a work out. Even if the amount of snow you have to clear is not a large amount, if you do not use proper technique you could find yourself hurting in places you did not want to. Here are a few tips on how to shovel snow safely and efficiently.
Health & Safety
In order to prevent injury it is a good idea to warm up your muscles before you step outside to start working. Take breaks between shoveling, shoveling continuously is not a good idea as it puts a lot of strain on your muscles and your heart. Do some warm up exercises before you even venture outside to start the job of clearing your driveway. This is important as you don’t want to pull a muscle while you work, concentrate on your back and arms when doing your warm up exercises.
Take some breaks while you shovel. This is really important for those who are a bit out of shape, to shovel continuously can be dangerous to your health. Always bend your knees and not your back when scooping out the snow and tossing it, and remember to keep the shovel blade close to you to reduce the amount of strain you put on your back. Work different muscles by alternating the hand you use and the grip you have on your snow shovel, this is help to prevent fatigue.
Planning your shoveling will save yourself not only a lot of time but also a lot of unnecessary work and frustration. Remember to leave the area of your driveway where it meets the street for last. The reason for this is that when the ATV snowplow goes past clearing the street, it is going to dump a whole lot of snow in this area. It is best to leave it until you are ready to pull your car out. If your car stands in the driveway and not in a garage, you should leave the area around your car till last.
You are going to have to clear the snow off of your car and this is going accumulate around your car so it is best to leave these areas until you have cleared your car and then clean the perimeter of the car. Again for those whose cars are parked in the driveway, clear a path to the driver’s door of the car first. Turn on the car and switch on the defrosting and the heat.
This will give the car a chance to warm up while you shovel and it will also help to defrost the windows of the car making it easier for you to remove the snow off of your car. Do not create piles along the side of your driveway. If you create too big a pile, it will simply fall back into your driveway and you will have to shovel it away again. Also when the next snowfall happens it will create an even larger wall of snow.
Dress warmly. Yes you are going to be done some strenuous exercise and you may think you are going to be hot and sweaty, but it is important to keep yourself warm while you work. Having an ergonomically designed snow shovel will help tremendously when shoveling snow. One that has a wide handle to accommodate gloved hands and one that is not overly heavy or clunky is best.
If you have very light snowfalls and there is not much snow that you need to relocate, consider using a pusher instead of a shovel, these are much gentler on you and do not require as much effort as shoveling does.
Shoveling snow does not have to be a burden. Preparation is essential to allow you to clear away the snow efficiently. Ensuring your comfort by having the right equipment, taking regular breaks and keeping yourself warm as well as proper planning will all go a long way in making sure that you get the job done without too much trouble.