Use Shovel With Ergonomic Handle
Hey friends, winter’s here and for many of us that means snow, ice, and messy sidewalks. As much as we love cozying up by the fire when it’s cold outside, taking care of those sidewalks is still important for safety. Don’t want anyone slippin’ and slidin’! So how do we remove all that snow and ice without throwing out our backs? Let me break down 15 tips I’ve learned over the years for keeping your sidewalk clear with minimal pain.
First up, get yourself a good shovel! Not just any shovel will do. You want one with an ergonomic handle that will reduce strain on your body. Bent handles are ideal to keep you in an upright position. Padded grips can also help take some pressure off your hands. And make sure to get a shovel that feels comfortable for your height and strength – don’t overdo it with one that’s too heavy. Protect those muscles!
Speaking of muscles, stretch ’em before you get shoveling! Just some quick toe touches, arm circles, and spine twists can get your body ready for the work ahead. You’ll be moving that snow more efficiently after loosening up. And be sure to take breaks to stretch it out some more if you’re at it for a while. Keep that blood flowing!
Now for technique – you’ll wanna lift with those legs! Bend from the knees to pick up each shovelful, then straighten your legs to toss it aside. Don’t bend at the waist – that’s a quick way to throw out your back. Keep your core engaged too for extra support. Think good posture.
And don’t overload the shovel! Better to take smaller scoops that are manageable than to try picking up more than you can handle. Pace yourself and chip away at it. This isn’t a race after all. Get into a steady rhythm and take occasional breaks to catch your breath.
Speaking of pacing yourself, try to clear the snow frequently. Don’t let it accumulate into huge, heavy mounds. Get out there after a couple inches and regularly maintain it. Future you will be grateful you didn’t let it pile up!
If you simply must move heavy piles, try pushing the snow instead of lifting when you can. Use the shovel like a plow to push it off to the side. Way easier on the back! And if you do have to lift, make sure to tighten those core muscles for support.
Another option is using a snow pusher – those wide plastic shovels without deep buckets. They let you scoop up more snow without the added weight, making it fast and easy to plow it aside. Very handy for big piles!
Be sure to shovel strategically too. Clear the center first so you have an easy path to walk, then work outward from there. And toss the snow downwind whenever possible – keeping it out of your way as you go.
Speaking of wind, try to time your shoveling on calmer days when possible. Otherwise the blowing snow will just cover up the areas you cleared pretty quickly. Save your strength for days when your work lasts!
You’ll also want to think about where you’re tossing that snow. Pile it off to the sides of the sidewalk and driveway, not smack in the middle. Toss it onto your lawn to give the grass some insulating moisture. Just keep it out of the way.
And pay extra attention to compacted snow and ice. Use rock salt or ice melt to help break that stuff up first. Trying to shovel solid ice manually is just asking for trouble. So melt it up good before attempting to lift it.
Speaking of melting, when you are dealing with super wet and heavy snow, wait til it lightens up a bit before shoveling. Fresh powdery snow is much easier to scoop and toss than sopping wet mess. Let it dry out a little first if possible.
Minimize how often you toss that snow too when it’s extra heavy. Scoop a load then walk it over to where you want it instead of trying to throw it the whole way. Doesn’t matter how you get it there as long as it leaves the sidewalk!
And remember to keep your own walkway clear too! Nothing worse than slipping on your own unshoveled path. Stay on top of it so you’ve got safe footing. Toss some salt down anytime ice starts to build up.
Lastly, listen to your body! If something feels off or you’re having serious pain, stop what you’re doing. Don’t try to power through – you’ll only make it worse. Take a break or call it a day. Achy muscles need time to recover.
There you have it – 15 tips for keeping those sidewalks clear without throwing out your back! Hopefully these pointers make the process a little smoother and less painful. Let me know if you have any other clever tricks for removing snow and ice safely. My back and I are always looking to learn. Wishing you all a warm and cozy winter!
Wear Proper Footwear for Traction
Is Your Sidewalk an Icy Mess This Winter? Master Sidewalk Snow Removal With These 15 Tips
Is your sidewalk an icy mess this winter? I feel your pain. As someone who has dealt with my fair share of slippery sidewalks, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks for getting that snow and ice cleared off quickly and safely. The last thing you want is for someone to slip and fall on your property. Not fun for anyone involved!
Let’s walk through this together (pun intended). Here are 15 tips to help you master sidewalk snow removal this winter.
Apply De-Icer for Quick Melting
When you wake up to find a fresh blanket of snow on the ground, resist the urge to grab a shovel right away. Going out too early can create an even icier mess. Instead, take a few minutes to apply some de-icer first. The de-icer will start melting that snow and ice, making it much easier to shovel.
What’s the best de-icer to use? Rock salt is the tried and true option. It’s inexpensive and effective. Just sprinkle it generously over the sidewalk. Give it some time to work its magic before shoveling. I like to put down salt in the evening if I know freezing temps are coming overnight. It gives the salt a head start on melting any ice.
Some other good de-icer options are calcium chloride or magnesium chloride. Both work well to lower the freezing point of water. The only downside is they tend to be more expensive than plain old rock salt.
Don’t have any de-icer on hand? No worries. Regular table salt or kitty litter can also work in a pinch. Not quite as effective, but better than nothing.
Pro tip: Apply more de-icer on high traffic areas and anywhere the sun won’t hit. These spots tend to re-freeze quickly.
Break Out a Sturdy Shovel
Alright, the de-icer has had some time to work. Now it’s time to shovel! Make sure you have a heavy duty shovel on hand designed specifically for snow. A flimsy plastic shovel won’t cut it and will only lead to frustration.
Metal shovels are ideal because they have sharper edges to cut through the snow and ice. Look for ones with ergonomic handles for comfort. Trust me, shoveling is hard enough work without having to struggle with a subpar shovel!
Before you get shoveling, give the snow a few test pushes with your shovel to see how slick the surface is. If it feels icy, give the de-icer more time to melt things first. Rushing the process by shoveling too early will only compact the snow into ice.
Focus First on High Traffic Areas
When tackling a large area that needs shoveling, work smart by prioritizing the high traffic zones first. This includes:
– The main walkway to your front door
– Paths leading from the driveway to the street
– Any sidewalks along the street
By clearing these high traffic areas first, you quickly reopen the main routes people need to use. Then you can worry about shoveling less essential areas like side yards, back patios, etc. Work efficiently and focus your effort where it’s needed most.
Shovel With the Storm
When you’re hit with a major snowstorm that dumps snow over several hours or days, resist the urge to wait until the snow stops falling before shoveling. Trying to clear a huge amount all at once is extremely tiring. Plus, that heavy wet snow gets more compacted the longer it sits.
Instead, try to shovel with the storm by getting out there every few hours as the snow accumulates. Even shoveling just an inch or two at a time is way easier than letting it really pile up. You’ll save your back and make the process much more manageable by shoveling with the storm.
Pro tip: Set reminders on your phone to prompt you to head out every couple hours as needed during extended storms.
Push the Snow Downwind
As you shovel, pay attention to the wind direction and shovel the snow downwind if possible. This prevents you from having to re-shovel areas that get covered again by blowing snow. Work smart and leverage the wind to your advantage.
Also, toss the snow downwind off the sidewalk and onto your lawn. Don’t pile it at the sides of the walkway where it can get blown right back onto the clear path. Just fling it downwind onto the grass.
Stand Up Straight While Shoveling
I know when shoveling, it’s tempting to hunch over and use your back muscles to scoop and lift the snow. Resist that urge! Keep your back straight and bend at the knees instead when lifting snow piles. This protects your back from injury or strain.
Also, widen your stance for balance. Take small steps to reposition as needed versus twisting at the waist. And switch up your shoveling hand frequently to distribute the workload on your body more evenly. Using proper form really does make a tiring task like shoveling much less taxing on your body.
Wear Layers and Take Breaks
Since shoveling is vigorous exercise, you’ll work up a sweat in no time. Avoid getting chilled after by wearing layered clothing you can peel off as needed. Wicking base layers are ideal to keep sweat away from your skin.
And don’t forget good winter accessories like waterproof gloves, insulated hat, and warm boots with grip. Slipping on ice while shoveling is no fun!
Finally, remember to give yourself periodic breaks while shoveling. Step inside to warm up for a few minutes and hydrate. You’ll shovel more efficiently if you pace yourself and don’t overdo it in one stretch.
Enlist Some Help for Big Storms
For really heavy snow accumulation, don’t be afraid to recruit a family member, neighbor or hired helper. Many hands make light work! Having two people trade off shoveling duties allows you to work much more quickly. Or you can tackle it together by having someone push the snow while the other person shovels it.
If hiring help, agree on the rate upfront ahead of time. Also be sure to shovel a clear path ahead of time so workers can access your property safely.
Use a Snow Blower for Deep Snow
Once snow gets above 6 inches or so, it’s time to consider breaking out a snow blower. Starting it up yourself isn’t too tough. Just add some fuel, prime it and pull the starter cord. Refer to the owner’s manual if needed.
Aim the blower downwind and overlap each pass slightly to clear a wider path. Don’t expect it to handle slushy snow well though. The wet gloppy stuff can clog the chute easily. Use a shovel first if needed to break up heavy packed areas.
For deeper drifts, take narrower passes with the blower. Move slowly and you’ll get through it no problem. Just be patient and let the machine do the hard work for you!
Watch for Icy Patches
Even if you clear all the snow off your sidewalks, icy patches can still linger. These are dangerous slippery spots, so keep your eyes peeled for shiny glazed areas. Throw down extra de-icer as needed.
Also, keep an eye out in shaded areas and anywhere melted snow can re-freeze into ice, like footprints. Treating these areas proactively prevents any nasty slip and falls on your property.
Rake After for a Clean Finish
For the perfect clean sidewalk, finish up by using a stiff rake or broom to give it a final once over. This removes any leftover chunks of snow or ice and really gives it that just-shoveled look. Don’t forget to sweep off the steps too!
Pro tip: Rake perpendicular to the direction you shoveled for the best results. It helps pick up snow left behind by the passes of the shovel.
Prevent Re-freezing Overnight
Nothing’s more disheartening than waking up after shoveling all day to find your sidewalks icy again! Avoid an icy morning surprise by sprinkling some extra de-icer before bed to prevent re-freezing overnight. This gives you a headstart on clearing any new snowfall the next day.
Also, if you have leftover snow piles that could melt and re-freeze, cover them with an old tarp to keep them contained. Every little bit helps!
Stay On Top of It After Snowfalls
Don’t let snow pile up for days before shoveling. Try to get out there within a few hours after each snowfall. This prevents snow from compacting and becoming dense, icy blocks. Shoveling smaller amounts frequently is much easier on your back too.
Plus, clearing snow promptly after snowfalls helps prevent slick ice from forming. This makes your sidewalk safer for those walking on it. Staying on top of it should be your goal.
Apply Sand for Extra Grip
If there are still slick spots after shoveling, apply some sand for extra traction. This gives people’s shoes better grip. Focus on putting sand at edges of sidewalks, steps, curbs or anywhere people walk and turn.
For best results, get coarse sandbox sand rather than fine sand that packs down. The coarser grains provide better grip underfoot. Reapply after rain or snow to maintain safe passage.
Check Local Ordinances
Most towns require residents to clear sidewalks within a certain timeframe after snowfalls. Avoid getting fined by knowing your local rules. Common timeframes range from 24 to 48 hours after the last snowflake.
Clearing sidewalks quickly is not only courteous for those walking by, but it’s the law in many places. So be sure to do your due diligence.
There you have it – 15 tips to help you conquer sidewalk snow removal this winter. With the right tools, techniques and mindset, you’ll be a shoveling pro in no time. Just remember to lift with your legs, take breaks and safety first! Let me know if you have any other snow removal tricks to share. Wishing you safe, slip-free sidewalks all winter long.
That icy sidewalk staring back at you after a snowstorm can be intimidating. But have no fear – with the right techniques, you can take charge and clear that walkway in no time. These 15 tips will transform you into a sidewalk snow removal pro.
Clear Early to Avoid Heavy Buildup
Procrastinating on shoveling only makes the job harder. Try to get out there within a couple hours of the last flakes falling. Snow that sits too long packs down into dense, icy chunks that are tough to clear. Shoveling small amounts frequently prevents that heavy buildup.
Setting reminders to head out periodically works great during long storms too. Just shoveling an inch or two at a time saves your back and makes the process less daunting. Don’t let that snow pile up!
Sprinkle De-Icer to Loosen Snow
Before grabbing the shovel, liberally sprinkle some de-icer like salt or calcium chloride. This helps melt the top layer of snow, preventing it from compacting into an icy slab.
Choose de-icers designed specifically for melting snow and ice. They lower the freezing point, so the snow comes up easier. Give the de-icer 15-20 minutes to work before shoveling.
Clear High Foot Traffic Areas First
Not all walkway areas get equal use. Focus first on high traffic zones to reopen main routes quickly. This means clearing paths to your front door, driveway, and along the street initially.
Once main spaces are open, you can move on to shoveling less essential areas like side yards. Prioritize where people need to walk most.
Use Proper Shoveling Form
Save your back by using good shoveling technique. Stand upright with knees slightly bent. Lift with your legs, not your back. Reposition your feet instead of twisting. And switch off shoveling hands to distribute the workload evenly.
Widen your stance on slick surfaces too. Take small steps to reposition versus lunging. Using proper form prevents injury and makes shoveling much less tiring.
Shovel Downwind to Minimize Re-Covering
Pay attention to wind direction when shoveling. Always toss snow downwind so cleared areas don’t immediately get covered again. Mother Nature will only work against you if you shovel upwind!
Also pile snow off the walkway onto your lawn instead of the sides. Wind can blow side piles right back onto the clear path. Simply fling each shovelful downwind onto the grass.
Leverage Help for Big Storms
Major snow dumping on you? Get help from family, friends or hired hands. Tackling deep snow alone means lots of repetitive shoveling. But two people can trade off duties, moving much faster. Or have someone push snow into your clearing path.
If hiring help, provide snow clearing tools and make sure to agree on pay ahead of time. Also shovel access paths so workers can safely reach your property.
Use a Snow Blower for Deep Drifts
Once snow piles up above 6 inches or so, a snow blower is a sanity saver. Just gas it up, prime it and pull the starter. Overlap each pass slightly for a wider clearing path. But avoid wet, slushy snow that can clog the chute.
For big drifts, take narrower passes with the blower. Work slowly and let the machine power through. Snow blowers make quick work of the really deep stuff with much less exertion on your part.
Rake Up Remaining Debris
For that picture perfect, slick sidewalk, finish up by raking any leftover debris. This removes leftover chunks and really gives it the just-cleared look. Rake perpendicular to your shoveling direction to pickup anything missed.
Don’t forget to sweep off steps too. They become slippery hazards when snowpacked down by footsteps into ice.
Watch for Icy Patches
After shoveling, icy patches can still linger. Shaded areas and footprints prone to re-freezing require extra attention. Spot treat slick zones with more de-icer as needed.
Stay vigilant for glazed over sections that could cause slips. Keeping walkways slip-free means checking for ice daily.
Sprinkle Sand for Extra Traction
For additional icy patch traction after shoveling, sprinkle some sand. This gives shoes better grip on slick spots like sidewalk edges, steps and curbs.
Opt for coarse sand over fine grains that get packed down. Reapply after rain or snow to maintain safe passage all winter long.
Prevent Re-Freezing Overnight
Nothing’s worse than waking up to re-frozen walkways you shoveled clean the day before! Before turning in for the night, sprinkle extra de-icer to prevent overnight re-freezing.
Also cover snow piles with tarps to contain melting and refreezing. Plan ahead to avoid starting all over each morning.
Check Snow Clearing Rules
Most municipalities require clearing sidewalks within 24-48 hours after snowfall. Avoid fines by knowing your local ordinances. Be a good neighbor and clear promptly after storms.
Plus keeping walkways shoveled benefits those on foot and reduces icy slip hazards. So staying on top of snow removal is a win-win.
Shovel Early and Often
To recap, the key is shoveling early and frequently. Don’t allow snow to accumulate into thick, dense layers. Get out there every few inches during extended storms. Frequent light shoveling is much easier on your back too!
Staying on top of snow buildup also decreases icy compacting. Keep walkways safe by promptly clearing after snow stops falling.
Keep Essential Gear Handy
Having the right snow removal tools on hand makes the process smoother. Stock up on de-icer, a sturdy shovel, and sand or kitty litter for traction. Also have warm winter gear like gloves, boots and layers.
Prepare ahead of time so you can take action as soon as flakes start falling. Don’t get caught off guard by Old Man Winter!
With the right mindset and techniques, you can conquer challenging winter sidewalks. Just remember to lift smart, take breaks, and safety first. Let me know if you have any other snow removal pro tips! Wishing you safe, slip-free passage all season long.
Take Breaks and Stretch to Prevent Injury
Hey friends, winter’s here and that means icy sidewalks and driveways. As much as we’d love to ignore it and hibernate until spring, keeping our walkways clear of snow and ice is important for safety and accessibility. But shoveling snow and chipping away at ice buildup can really do a number on your back, shoulders, and overall health if you’re not careful. As your pal who wants you to make it through winter in one piece, let me share some tried and true tips to keep you, your sidewalks, and your health in check this season!
First things first – pace yourself and take regular breaks when removing snow and ice. I know, I know – you just want to power through and get it over with. But trust me, your body will thank you later if you take a breather every 15-20 minutes. Shoveling is tough physical labor, so listen to your body when it’s telling you it needs a rest. Take 5-10 minutes to walk around, stretch your arms and back, and hydrate. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you’ll have to get the job done if you avoid working yourself to exhaustion in one go.
Speaking of stretching, be sure to warm up those muscles before you head out into the cold. Take a few minutes to do some shoulder rolls, overhead reaches, twisting stretches for your back, etc. Not only will this get your blood pumping to prep your body for work, but it also helps prevent painful muscle strains. I like to march in place and do arm circles to get the joints lubed up and ready for action. Save yourself the pain of pulling a muscle by taking the time to limber up.
While we’re on the subject of pain prevention, make sure to use proper shoveling technique. Keep your back straight and lift with your legs, not your back, when hoisting shovelfuls of the white stuff. Avoid twisting as you toss the snow off the shovel – pivot your whole body instead. And don’t overload the shovel to the point where it strains your body. Take smaller scoops that you can manage without feeling like your spine might give out. Maintain good upright posture and let your arms and legs do the hard work, not your delicate back.
Speaking of equipment, make sure you’ve got a shovel that feels comfortable for your height and strength. A shovel that’s too short or too long will wreak havoc on your back. Take the time to find one that lets you scoop and lift with minimal bending and reaching. While you’re shopping for supplies, pick up some ice melt or salt too. Sprinkling it down first can make chipping away stubborn ice piles much easier on your body. No need to wrestle with thick ice when some simple melting chemicals can help you out.
When it comes to clearing ice, be patient. I know you want pristine pavement ASAP but hacking away aggressively can lead to injury. Let the ice melt and salt do their work first, then use gentle pressure and small chips to clear the slush. Don’t go medieval on solid ice sheets – trust me, that’s a trip to the chiropractor waiting to happen. Take it slow and steady for ice removal.
Consider investing in some helpful gear like ice cleats or slip-on grips if your walkways are exceptionally icy. Trying to maintain steady footing on slick surfaces can strain muscles and lead to falls. Adding traction can make navigating icy sidewalks much safer for you and anyone else who needs to use them. Yaktrax and Stabilicers are great options designed to fit over your shoes or boots.
Stay visible out there too! Wear reflective outerwear or attach flashlights to yourself and your equipment if you’re clearing snow in low light. The last thing you need is an accidental run-in with a snowblower or car because no one can see you. Light yourself up like a Christmas tree for safety.
Keep an eye on the forecast and try to shovel during warmer daylight hours when possible. Clearing dense, heavy snow in frigid temperatures or at night is much tougher on your body. Whenever you can time it for when the sun’s out and it’s slightly warmer, your efforts will be less strained.
Dress appropriately! I know I sound like your mom, but wearing the right winter gear makes a huge difference in how your body handles shoveling snow. The key is keeping your core and extremities warm while allowing freedom of movement. Focus on windproof, waterproof layers and quality gloves or mittens. And make sure your boots have solid traction – slipping around on the ice while shoveling is just asking for injury.
Push the snow rather than lifting whenever you can. Pushing along a wide section of snow takes a lot less exertion than constantly hoisting heavy shovelfuls. Use the shovel to guide the snow off to the sides rather than trying to lift ridiculous amounts at a time.
Consider investing in an electric snowblower if you’re really struggling to keep up with shoveling your property manually. These machines do the hard work for you while you simply guide them along. Just be sure to still take frequent breaks and dress warmly if opting for a snowblower. Oh, and avoid drinking alcohol while operating any machinery – safety first!
Know your limits – if you start to experience any concerning pain or discomfort in your back, chest, arms, etc, call it quits. Shoveling snow is hard work, so don’t push your body past its limits trying to power through. Quit while you’re ahead and pick back up when you’re feeling better rested and recovered. It’s not worth doing serious damage or straining your heart.
Recruit help if needed! Having a family member, friend, or even hired helper clear snow with you makes the job so much easier. You can take turns and shorten the time spent shoveling for each person. Two sets of hands and solid teamwork goes a long way for safe, fast snow removal. Consider bartering with a neighbor – you clear their sidewalk one time, they do yours the next time it snows.
Stretch it out afterwards too. Just as limbering up beforehand is crucial, so is stretching out those worked muscles when you’re finished shoveling. Spend 5-10 minutes gently stretching your arms, back, shoulders, and legs to aid muscle recovery. I like to foam roll too if I’m feeling any tightness or sore spots. A lazy post-shoveling stretch session helps your body rebound faster.
Listen to your body in the days after clearing snow. If you wake up with throbbing back pain or other concerning aches, call your doctor. Use OTC pain meds sparingly and wisely. REST if your body is begging for it. Don’t push yourself to shovel again until any pain or soreness has resolved.
Hopefully these tips help you take on snowy, icy sidewalks safely and as pain-free as possible! Let me know if you have any other questions – I’m happy to help. Wishing you minimal shoveling and smooth, slip-free walking this winter. Stay warm and listen to your body!
Push Snow Instead of Lifting to Save Back
Hey there winter warriors, I know shovelling snow is the pits. You want to get it done quickly but your back is screaming for mercy by the end. As someone who has thrown out their back way too many times trying to hurriedly clear snow, let me share some tips I’ve learned so you can work smarter, not harder. The main thing that’s saved my back? Pushing snow instead of lifting it.
Treat your shovel like a snow plow. Rather than trying to hoist heavy mounds of snow, use the shovel to push along sections of snow bit by bit. This takes way less strain and effort than constantly lifting those heavy shovelfuls and twisting to toss them aside. Let the shovel do the work as you guide it along gradually.
When you encounter deeper piles that need lifting, only scoop small amounts at a time. Don’t overload your shovel trying to take huge chunks – that’s asking for back pain. Take it slow and bite-sized. Multiple lighter lifts are much easier on your body than a few back-breaking shovelfuls.
Maintain good posture and engage your leg muscles when you do have to lift. Lift with the power of your thighs by bending your knees and keeping your back straight. Avoid hunching over or arching as you lift – this tweaks your spine and strains those sensitive back muscles quick.
Use leverage to your advantage too. Bend one knee and use it to help support and lift the shovel’s load when hoisting snow. Keeping a leg bent rather than fully straightening takes pressure off your lower back. This turning shoveling into more of a lunge than a full body bend.
Follow through and avoid any quick twisting motions when dumping shovel loads. Pivot your whole body – don’t just twist at the waist. The torque and abrupt motion of turning just your torso can really do a number on your back. Keep movements smooth and fluid.
Listen to your body and stop immediately if you feel sudden back pain. Trying to push through will only make it worse. Take a break and pick back up later or get help finishing the job. Don’t keep going to the point of injury – know your limits.
Use ice melt, salt, or gravel to soften up hard packed areas first before trying to shovel. Removing loose, slushy snow takes way less exertion than cracking through solid ice-covered pavement. Let physics do some of the work for you.
Choose the right snow shovel for your body and task. Pick a size you can push and lift comfortably without excessive bending or reaching. And opt for a shovel designed to glide smoothly over the surface so pushing piles is easier. Ditch the tiny plastic ones – they usually cause more strain than they’re worth.
When removing ice, go slowly and focus on chipping and picking rather than trying to hack through it aggressively. Attacking solid ice sheets is a surefire way to throw out your back or injure yourself. Be patient and let salt and deicer help soften it up first.
Wearing improper footwear is just asking for slips, falls, and wrenched backs too. Make sure your winter boots or shoes have great traction to avoid sliding around on slick surfaces. Firm footing makes pushing and lifting much safer for your spine and tailbone.
Stay limber and warm – stretch your back, arms, and legs before heading out to remove snow and ice. And dress in flexible layers that allow free range of motion while shovelling. Restrictive, stiff clothing compromises your posture, movement, and joint health.
Know when to call it quits and get help. If you’re really struggling or have an extensive area to clear, don’t go it alone. Recruit a family member or neighbor to tag team it with you. Or consider hiring a snow removal service if it’s worth it to save your back and time.
Use a snowblower for big jobs if possible. Though still requiring caution, letting a gas-powered machine do the heavy lifting takes a lot of strain off your body. Just be sure to still take breaks, dress warmly and maintain awareness of where you’re walking.
Hopefully these tips help you take it easy on your back when tackling snowy and icy sidewalks this winter. Let me know if you have any other questions! Wishing you smooth, pain-free shoveling and safe strolling once you’re done.
Stay Hydrated to Maintain Energy
Hey shoveling squad, keeping your sidewalks clear of snow and ice is tough work! All that scooping, bending, lifting and tossing can really zap your energy and leave you drained faster than an iPhone in winter. So what’s one of the best ways to keep your strength and stamina up while battling the frozen stuff? Staying hydrated, my friends.
I know it sounds simple but it’s easy to forget to drink enough water when you’re focused on shoveling. Especially in the cold weather, you might not feel overly thirsty and forget to sip. But letting yourself get dehydrated is the fastest way to gas out before the job is done.
Drink plenty of water before you even head out to start shoveling. Having hydrated muscles and fluids in your system beforehand provides a solid foundation rather than trying to play catch up later.
Keep water handy while working – I’m a fan of using an insulated bottle I can carry along and swig from easily. Don’t rely on needing to go back inside and refill a glass; have hydration at your fingertips.
Take frequent breaks to drink water too. Gulping down fluids while actively shoveling can lead to cramps or nausea. Use your rest breaks as a designated time to hydrate. The short rests are also when your body absorbs the water most readily.
Pay attention to the color of your urine – yes, I know, TMI. But it’s an accurate way to gauge your hydration level. Pale yellow means you’re well hydrated. Dark yellow, not so much. Drink more if you’re veering into amber territory.
Opt for electrolyte drinks like Gatorade or coconut water too. The electrolytes and potassium help combat muscle fatigue on top of hydration. Just steer clear of sugary sports drinks to avoid an energy crash.
Eat hydrating snacks to serve a dual purpose. Fruits and veggies with high water content like grapes, oranges, celery, etc hydrate along with providing energy.
Do the pinch test on your arm periodically. Pinch the skin and see how quickly it bounces back. If it’s slow to flatten, you need more fluids stat.
Beware the tricks of winter weather. The cold air fools you into thinking you’re not sweating or losing moisture. But shoveling is still hard cardio that zaps hydration fast.
Don’t wait until you feel parched and dizzy to drink up. By then dehydration has already set in. Sip regularly throughout the process before you reach desperate thirst levels.
Drink a few extra gulps after you finish shoveling too. Rehydrating after the fact helps your muscles recover faster so you’re ready for next time.
Pay extra attention to hydration if you’re an older shoveler. As we age, our thirst reflex declines. Make a conscious effort to drink without relying on thirst as your cue.
Use a humidifier indoors too – dry winter air saps moisture, so combat it by adding humidity inside your home.
Add extra electrolytes to your diet in winter. Things like coconut water, bone broth, nuts, bananas and avocados provide key electrolytes to replenish what you lose shoveling.
Prioritize water over hot cocoa or other tempting cold weather drinks. Hydration is crucial, so stick to water or add cocoa powder to your water bottle if you need that chocolate fix!
Invest in a thermos you can fill with hot tea or broth. Sipping warm, hydrating fluids while shoveling helps you stay energized.
Reward yourself when you’re done with a nice hot shower or bath. Rehydrating your whole body afterwards aids recovery. Just be sure to drink some extra water after too!
Trust me friends, staying on top of your hydration makes shoveling snow so much less exhausting. Let me know if you have any other snow removal tips and tricks! Wishing you smooth sidewalks and painless shoveling.
Work Slowly to Avoid Overexertion
Hey snow warriors, I know clearing piles of snow and ice off your sidewalks, driveways and paths is a daunting winter task. It’s tempting to want to just power through as fast as possible to get it over with. But take it from me, working too quickly while shoveling is a recipe for exhaustion, injury and health issues.
Shoveling snow puts a ton of physical stress on your body, especially your heart. When you overexert yourself trying to removal snow too hurriedly, it can put dangerous strain on your cardiovascular system.
Pace yourself and work methodically rather than rushing. Take frequent breaks to rest and catch your breath. Your muscles and heart will thank you.
Push snow rather than lifting whenever possible. Using your shovel like a plow requires way less energy than constantly scooping and tossing heavy shovelfuls. Only lift smaller amounts when you need to.
Let salt, ice melt and gravel do some of the work beforehand on thick ice patches. Trying to hack through rock-solid ice is killer on your body. Soften it up first before attempting removal.
Hydrate regularly while working to avoid draining your energy levels. Dehydration sneaks up on you quickly while shoveling without you realizing.
Dress in warm flexible layers so you can work efficiently without getting chilled to the bone. Being too cold makes your muscles tense up and tire faster.
Make sure your shoes or boots have great traction to avoid slipping while shoveling. Secure footing enables you to remove snow with less risk of falls or injury.
Use proper lifting technique – lift with your legs, not your back. Keep your spine aligned and neutral while engaging your thigh and glute muscles to bear the load.
Avoid any quick twisting motions while shoveling and dumping snow loads. Pivot your whole body together in a stable way rather than violently twisting your core.
Listen to warning signs from your body like chest pain, arm numbness, dizziness, etc. Stop and rest immediately if you feel any concerning symptoms of overexertion.
Recruit help from family, friends or neighbors to share the workload if needed. Shoveling together prevents any one person from overdoing it.
Invest in an ergonomic snow shovel designed to glide and reduce resistance while pushing. Quality equipment makes the job less exhausting.
Take frequent breaks to catch your breath and allow your heart rate to recover. Gentle stretches during breaks also help ease muscle fatigue.
Stay visible by wearing reflective gear and lighting if shoveling in low visibility conditions. Rushing while unable to see is hazardous.
Set a reasonable timeline rather than rushing to finish ASAP. Allow enough time so you can work at an efficient but safe, rested pace.
Don’t attempt to shovel huge amounts of snow all at once. Do it in multiple rounds over several days if needed to avoid overexertion.
Keep heavier snowfalls manageable by clearing sidewalks frequently after smaller accumulations before they become deep piles.
Avoid caffeine before shoveling as it can accelerate your heart rate. Drink calm-energy boosting beverages like tea instead.
Warm up your muscles beforehand with some light cardio and dynamic stretches to prep your body for the work ahead.
Hope these tips help you take on old man winter’s frosty offerings safely and steadily! Let me know if you have any other shoveling questions.
Clear Area Around Storm Drains
Hey snow removal crew, I know keeping your sidewalks and driveways clear of snow and ice buildup is a big enough job on its own. But while you’re out there shoveling, take a couple extra minutes to clear snow and debris away from any nearby storm drains too. I know it’s not the most glamorous task, but it’s super important for effective drainage and preventing local flooding problems.
Start by locating any storm drains on or near your property. They are typically metal grates in the ground near the curb or edges of your sidewalk/driveway. Use your shovel to clear snow piles, leaves, trash and other debris away from storm drains so they are fully exposed and able to do their job.
Try to create a channel or path in the snow leading from the drain grate downhill. This allows melted snow and ice to easily flow into the drain rather than pooling up around it if the path were blocked.
Make sure to clear a radius of at least 12 inches all around the drain grate. This leaves plenty of open area for water to access the drain without any obstacles or pileup.
If there is a fire hydrant near your property, be sure to clear snow away from it too! Having hydrants readily accessible is crucial for emergency responders.
Check storm drains periodically after snowstorms or melt periods. Refreezing and additional snow can quickly block drains again so they need regular love.
Use salt, sand or kitty litter around storm drains if the areas around them remain slick. This helps with traction and keeping the areas clear of slippery ice buildup.
If you have a corner property, make sure to shovel paths through piled up snow on the corner so melting water can reach the storm drain. Don’t leave huge unbroken piles blocking access.
Advise any kids helping you shovel to be very careful around storm drains. The grates pose a falling hazard if they step on them wrong while focused on shoveling.
Enlist neighbors to help expose storm drains up and down your street or cul-de-sac. The more that are cleared, the better for neighborhood drainage and safety.
Avoid piling shoveled snow on top of storm drains. Find an out of the way spot for piles where drainage won’t be obstructed.
If you have a fire hydrant on your property, adopt it as your own to keep clear through winter. Painting it in summer can also help make it stand out when snow piles up.
Use a stomper tool to gently break up any ice chunks blocking the drain grate without damaging it. A hairdryer can also help melt small blockages.
Watch out for black ice around drains when temperatures rise and fall. Use sand or kitty litter for traction if the area is prone to slick ice.
If you see local ponding or standing water that doesn’t seem to be draining well, check for storm drain blockages nearby that could be the cause.
Report any damaged, excessively clogged or slow-draining storm drains to your municipal public works department.
Avoid using harsh chemical ice-melting agents right around storm drains where the chemicals can flow into the watershed system.
Get ahead of the problem before heavy snow by checking that local storm drains are clear of fall leaves, branches and other debris that can impede drainage.
Consider using a DIY storm drain cover if blocked drains are an ongoing issue on your street. Just be sure to remove any barrier before the snow season arrives.
Alert any plow services clearing your area to avoid piling snow on top of or directly around clear storm drains as they work.
Hope these tips help you keep your neighborhood storm drains in tip top shape! Let the melting begin. Stay safe and dry out there!
Remove Slippery Ice Patches
Hey ice busters, dealing with slick slippery spots on sidewalks, driveways and paths is no fun for anyone trying to safely navigate outside. As vital as clearing snow buildup is, removing those pesky patches of ice is just as crucial. Nothing ruins your winter stroll like suddenly having the ground fly out from under you! Here are some tips to help tackle icy areas.
Take it slow and steady when you encounter ice-covered pavement. Trying to rush across slippery sections often leads to falls. Walk carefully, taking short, deliberate steps for stability.
Spread sand, gravel, kitty litter or other gritty materials on slick spots to help create traction. This gives shoes and boots something gritty to grip versus sliding wildly on ice.
Focus on high traffic areas first. Clear walkways, stairs, ramps, driveways and other main paths people regularly use to reduce the risk of dangerous slips.
Use ice melt products to help break down icy areas, especially thick ice sheets. Calcium and magnesium chloride blends work well. Scatter generously over slick patches.
Remove any hardened snow chunks first if ice is buried or layered under compacted snow. Scoop away the snow to expose the slippery ice underneath before trying to chip away at it.
Let gravity help! Use shovels, scrapers, brooms etc to gently guide ice chunks off elevated surfaces like steps and porches. No need to lift heavy ice up.
Try a DIY spray bottle mix of salt water to help melt small icy areas. The salt helps lower the freezing temp so ice starts melting faster.
Pay extra attention to areas that don’t get much sun exposure and are prone to icy buildups. North facing sidewalks, under trees etc.
Scatter cat litter on icy surfaces to create temporary “paw” traction. The granules create a rough grippy texture similar to sandpaper.
Use a handheld ice scraper or chipper tool to break up stubborn ice patches and provide better traction. Just be gentle on sensitive surfaces.
Lay down wooden boards, old towels or mats over recurring slick areas so feet have some grip and can avoid direct contact with the ice.
Repair any broken hand railings, cracks, holes or uneven pavement that allow puddles to form and become treacherous ice pits.
Communicate with neighbors and share any salt/ice melt supplies or gravel to tackle community icy areas together.
Prevent future ice buildup by diverting drainage and runoff away from sidewalks, steps and paths. Control the water source and you control the ice.
Pay attention to temperatures and deal with ice promptly when it forms before it becomes a thick sheet. It’s easier to break up when still a fresh layer.
Consider rubber ice grips or slip-on cleats withmetal studs that attach to your shoes for improved stability walking on ice prone areas.
Point out and warn visitors or delivery drivers of any slick areas you are aware of so they can use extra caution.
Reapply salt, sand or grit several times during melting periods as it can quickly get cleared away and lose effectiveness as conditions change.
Hope these tips help provide some sturdy footing this winter! Let me know if you have any other ice removal tricks. Stay steady out there!
Sprinkle Sand for Extra Traction
Hey snow warriors, I know dealing with slick icy sidewalks and paths is scary stuff. One wrong step and suddenly you’re staring up at the sky wondering what happened! Using sand for extra traction is a handy way to help create some grip on slippery surfaces.
Sand sprinkled liberally on icy areas acts as a natural friction agent underfoot. It provides a rough, gritty texture when scattered over smooth icy spots to improve stability.
The tiny pebble-like grains of sand almost act like miniature ball bearings that your shoes or boots can gently bite into versus sliding around with no control.
Focus first on high traffic areas prone to slick conditions – walkways, front steps, ramps, hills or any slopes. Make these high priority traction zones for safety.
Reapply sand frequently during freeze/thaw cycles. Melting and refreezing can quickly make it ineffective so regular replenishment is key.
Pair sand with salt or chemical ice melt products. The sand provides traction while the deicer goes to work melting the slippery spots for a 1-2 punch.
Choose coarse builders sand rather than fine play sand. The courser grit provides better grip versus ultra smooth fine grains that compact down.
Avoid using colored play sand which contains dust that can stain surfaces. Opt for natural builders sand instead.
After sprinkling sand, let it sit for a bit to allow the weight of foot traffic to gently work it into the ice to optimize traction.
Use a hand spreader or shaker tool to distribute sand evenly and strategically versus dumping piles in random areas.
Be mindful of tracking sand indoors. Provide outdoor mats and shoe brushes to minimize the mess.
Rake up leftover sand once icy conditions pass so it doesn’t kill grass or clog drains when melting occurs.
Sprinkle sand along the centers of tire tracks and footpaths. This helps provide traction exactly where wheels and shoes will travel.
Stock up on sand early in the winter to ensure supply. Shortages often occur after big snowstorms or extended icy spells.
If sand isn’t cutting it on super slick ice patches, switch to crushed gravel or bird seed for even better traction.
Avoid dumping excessive amounts in any one area. Heavy piles can wash away quickly or create new tripping hazards.
Pair with safety cones or signs cautioning people about ongoing slippery conditions while sand does its job.
Kitty litter actually works quite well too in a pinch! The granular clay has a rough grippy texture perfect for scattering on ice.
If using salt or deicer, apply it first before sand so it can start penetrating before the sand is laid down.
Recruit neighbors to sand the entire street together versus just your individual driveway or sidewalk for community safety.
Hope these tips help keep your walkways surefooted this winter. Stay steady out there and let me know if you have any other sand stories to share!
Alert Neighbors to Avoid Falls
Hey helpful neighbors, keeping our sidewalks and paths clear of snow and ice isn’t just about our own properties. Looking out for each other and giving a heads up about slippery areas can help prevent painful and dangerous falls this winter.
If you spot an icy patch near a neighbor’s front steps or sidewalk entrance, give them a quick call to make them aware. They may not have noticed and appreciate the warning.
Offer to sand or salt slick areas you notice to help out others, especially elderly neighbors who may have limited mobility.
Let your neighborhood chat group or email list know about any areas you’ve come across that could cause passerby to take a tumble.
If there’s an icy hill or steep driveway on your street, put up a caution sign at the top warning people to use the sidewalk and avoid walking there.
For elderly or disabled neighbors, offer to pick up traction cleats or other stability devices to help them navigate outside safely.
Keep a supply of salt, sand or kitty litter available to sprinkle on slick communal sidewalks or paths as needed if you see issues.
Advise folks taking out trash bins or getting mail to use extra care on sections you know become icy in mornings.
Let parents waiting at neighborhood bus stops know if you’ve spotted slick areas nearby kids would traverse to get there.
Offer to petsit for neighbors if the ice will make walking dogs hazardous. Help keep both pups and owners safe.
Remind young or new drivers on your street to drive slow since icy turns and hills can easily catch them off guard.
Notify your postal carrier if your front steps or path to mailbox tend to become a slippery, dangerous mess so they can take precautions.
Keep an eye out for icy ruts or potholes on side streets drivers may not be expecting. Advise them to use alternate routes.
Update neighbors promptly when you’ve salted or sanded so they know that area should have improved traction.
Place cones near icy patches you can’t treat right away to alert pedestrians and drivers of the potential hazard.
Offer to pick up groceries or essentials for at-risk neighbors to minimize their need to navigate slippery areas.
Remind folks not to rush or text while walking outside during icy conditions – pay full attention to footing!
Keep walkways tidy so there’s no debris hiding icy spots. Remove tools, branches, trash can lids promptly after use.
If you’re unavailable when snow falls, ask a neighbor to salt your essential walkways to avoid them becoming slippery sheets by the time you return.
Hope these tips help us all look out for each other! Stay safe and let neighbors know about any other hazards.
Shovel Along Direction of Traffic
Hey sidewalk snow warriors, I know after a heavy snowfall all you want to do is clear those buried walkways and paths as quickly as possible. But take it from me, taking the time to shovel snow strategically along the direction of traffic flow makes the process much more efficient.
Start by shoveling a narrow path down the center first. Clear this initial path along the length of the entire sidewalk, driveway, etc in the main direction people will walk.
This means shoveling from the bottom to the top of a driveway so you’re working with gravity, not against it as you progress. Or shoveling the full length of a front walkway from house to sidewalk.
Having an initial open pathway prevents having to climb over mounds of snow or backtrack repeatedly as you work. You can build off this cleared center route as you go.
Stage cleared snow to the sides of this main channel. As you continue shoveling wider, shovel snow from the middle out toward the edges.
This keeps the center route constantly open versus having to round back over uncleared areas multiple times.
Follow foot traffic patterns when shoveling multi-directional areas like corners. Clear the dominant walking paths first before branching off.
Work top to bottom on sloped driveways or ramps. Clearing snow downhill with the slope prevents having to battle against gravity.
Consider the direction snowplows will clear streets. For sidewalks perpendicular to plow routes, shovel along that straight line to keep them accessible.
Think of the main gates, doors and mailboxes people need to access from cleared walkways and prioritize paths to those points.
Enlist a partner or team to assemble a clearing assembly line. Each person tackles a section along the preferred path direction.
Widen paths along the length gradually for a consistent clear width. Don’t leave random narrow and wide areas.
Avoid repetitive back and forth small clearing. Work steadily along the dominant direction even if it means leaving pockets uncleared temporarily.
Shovel early in quiet conditions before footprints create carved paths. This allows you to establish ideal walkways preemptively.
Consider the sun direction if clearing early before ice melt. Prioritize main walkways that will melt fastest.
Use flow direction to your advantage when shoveling downhill. Let gravity help pull shovelfuls along continuously.
Reprioritize and widen key tight spots as needed if encountering choke points along the cleared route.
Hope these tips help you strategically conquer the snow efficiently! Let me know if you have any other shoveling questions.
Hire Help if Too Strenuous
When winter rolls around, sidewalks and driveways become slippery, icy messes. Removing snow and ice safely from walkways requires strategy and elbow grease. Don’t risk injury – if shoveling seems too physically demanding, consider hiring help. Otherwise, arm yourself with proper tools and technique to clear sidewalks yourself.
Use an Ergonomic Shovel
Standard flat shovels require bending and lifting – a recipe for back pain. Choose a shovel with an ergonomic handle that allows you to scoop snow without bending over. The bent handle reduces back strain. Pushing snow along the ground is easier on your body than lifting and tossing it.
Clear Early and Often
Don’t let snow accumulate and turn to packed ice. Begin shoveling once an inch or two have fallen. Take frequent breaks to avoid overexertion. Hydrate and dress in breathable layers so you don’t get soaked in sweat. Removing a little bit of snow frequently is much easier than clearing heavy, packed snow all at once.
Use De-icer and Sand for Traction
Applying de-icer helps melt snow so it’s easier to shovel. Scatter sand on top of ice patches to create traction and prevent slips. Focus de-icing efforts on high-traffic areas first. Apply another round after shoveling to help melt any snow left behind.
Don’t just clear a narrow path. Removing a wider swath of snow prevents deep piles that freeze into hazardous mounds. Widen walkways to their full width. The extra elbow grease upfront prevents packed ice ridges later on. Your neighbors will appreciate the extra clearance.
Lift With Your Legs
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart when lifting snow. Bend your knees and engage your leg muscles as you scoop – don’t hunch over or bend at the waist. Keep your back straight. Let your legs do the work so you avoid injury. Bring the load close to your body when lifting.
Stay On Top of the Storm
Don’t let snow accumulate into deep piles during a storm. Take breaks to go out and remove fresh snowfall every hour or so if possible. Keeping up with the storm makes clearing walkways much more manageable compared to dealing with feet of snow all at once.
Toss Snow Downwind
Check wind direction before you start shoveling. Throw removed snow downwind so it doesn’t blow right back into your path. Shovel against the wind whenever possible. This prevents you from having to remove the same snow twice.
Don’t rush through shoveling at a brisk pace that has you gasping for breath after a few minutes. Work at an easy, consistent rate you can sustain for the duration of the task. Shoveling can raise your heart rate, so take plenty of breaks. Hydrate to avoid dehydration.
Push Snow Instead of Lifting
When possible, simply push accumulated snow along the ground rather than lifting and tossing it. Pushing puts far less strain on your body than lifting. You’ll preserve energy and avoid unnecessary exertion. Just bend your knees and use your legs to push.
Wear Ice Grippers on Boots
Slipping on hidden ice patches can lead to injury. Attach ice grippers to your boot soles for traction while shoveling. These metal cleats dig into the ice so you maintain steady footing. Improved traction prevents falls and twisted ankles.
Dress in Layers
Don’t bundle up in a heavy jacket that will have you sweating in no time. Wear breathable base layers and add things like a vest, hat and gloves as needed. Shed layers if you start overheating. Staying dry prevents you from getting chilled.
Dehydration sneaks up on you in the cold. Have water readily available and drink frequently while shoveling. Don’t guzzle ice water – cool but not freezing is best. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which promote fluid loss. Eat snacks to fuel your muscles.
Warm up your muscles before tackling snow removal. Do some light aerobic exercise to get your blood pumping, then stretch your arms, back, shoulders and legs. Flexibility prevents muscle strain. Proper stretching loosens up your body.
Use Proper Form
Lift snow properly to avoid throwing out your back. Keep your chest up, shoulders back and bend from your hips and knees. Tighten your core muscles as you lift. Don’t twist your body – pivot your whole body instead. Maintain proper spine alignment.
Wear bright outerwear if removing snow early in the morning or at dusk when visibility is poor. Attach flashlights or wear reflective gear so you’re visible to traffic. Don’t assume drivers can see you. Shovel safely off to the side of the road.
Remove snow thoughtfully and you’ll stay safe while keeping sidewalks hazard-free. Work smart to avoid injury and make the task manageable. Follow these tips so wintry weather doesn’t dampen your mobility.
Keep Path Minimum 3 Feet Wide
When winter weather hits, keeping sidewalks clear of snow and ice becomes a necessity. Removing the wintry buildup on walkways takes planning and perseverance. Don’t let hazardous, narrow paths persist – clear sidewalks properly so everyone can pass safely. Follow these tips to master sidewalk snow removal.
Startup a Neighborhood Shovel Brigade
Don’t go it alone – recruit neighbors as a snow removal team. Take turns tackling each other’s sidewalks after snowfall. Share equipment and labor to lighten the workload. Having a few extra sets of hands helps tremendously. You’ll get to know your neighbors better too.
Prevent Slips with Sand or Kitty Litter
Sprinkle sand liberally over icy patches to create gritty traction that prevents slipping. Kitty litter also works wonders for grip. Focus on trouble spots first before moving on to general clearing. De-ice to remove snow, then sand for stability.
Dress Warmly in Layers
Don’t bundle up so heavily that you sweat buckets after 10 minutes of work. Wear wicking base layers to stay dry, and add outer layers as needed. Shed jackets if you overheat. Light, stretchy gloves allow dexterity. Waterproof boots grip ice.
Clear Snow with Ergonomic Tools
Reduce spinal strain by using an ergonomic shovel that allows you to push snow along the ground. Lift less and reap the back benefits. Consider a snow pusher with rotating handles – no need to lift snow at all. Any tool that minimizes bending helps.
Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dehydration
Drink frequently while shoveling to replace fluids lost through sweat and breathing. Dehydration can creep up without notice on cold days. Cool water is best – avoid caffeine or alcohol. Fuel your body with high protein snacks like nuts or jerky.
Pace Yourself and Take Breaks
Don’t rush through removal in a frenzy that has you wiped out quickly. Work at an even, moderate pace you can maintain without tiring. Take regular short breaks to rest your muscles and catch your breath. Marathon, don’t sprint.
Keep Chest Up and Use Legs to Lift
Use proper lifting form to avoid back injuries. Keep your chest lifted, bend from the hips and knees, and lift with your powerful leg muscles. Bring loads close to your body for stability. Keep your back straight – don’t hunch over.
Stay Visible in Low Light
Dawn or dusk snow removal poses visibility issues. Wear reflective outerwear so cars can see you. Use flashlights or attach lights to clothing. Avoid shoveling right next to roads. Remove snow earlier or later in the day if possible.
Don’t Let Snow Accumulate
Shovel frequently to prevent heavy, compacted snow that turns to ice. Every few inches, take a break from what you’re doing and clear walkways. Staying on top of fresh snow is much easier than clearing feet of powder later on.
Widen Paths to Full Width
Clearing just a narrow trail isn’t sufficient – widen paths to their full width. The extra area provides safe clearance for people to pass each other without stepping into mushy borders. Wide paths also prevent hazardous frozen chunks.
Use De-Icer to Melt Snow
Applying de-icing products helps melt snow so it’s easier to displace it with a shovel. Calcium chloride pellets work well and are safe for concrete. Focus on trouble spots first. Reapply after shoveling for extra insurance against refreezing.
Lift Knees High When Walking on Snow
Don’t shuffle with short steps – it’s easy to slip. Pick knees up high with each step to reduce chances of falling. Look ahead and walk carefully. Having proper winter footwear provides stability on slippery surfaces.
Stay Off the Shovel If You Have Health Issues
Shoveling is strenuous exercise. Avoid doing it yourself if you have chronic illnesses or mobility limitations. Hire a service or ask neighbors for help instead. Don’t risk injuring yourself or worsening medical conditions.
Take Breaks to Stay Warm
Don’t just warm up inside – take brief breaks even when you aren’t feeling chilled yet. Getting soaked with sweat leads to rapid cooling when you step outside again. Frequent short breaks preserve body heat better than longer ones.
Stretch Thoroughly Before and After
Warm up muscles with cardio before shoveling, then stretch arms, back, shoulders, and legs. Post-shoveling stretches prevent next-day stiffness. Proper stretching enhances flexibility and circulation to thwart muscle strain.
Push Snow Downwind
Determine wind direction so you’re not shoveling against gusts. Throw removed snow downwind so it doesn’t blow back in your face. Pushing with the wind saves effort and keeps snow from repeatedly accumulating in cleared areas.
With proper tools, techniques and preparation, sidewalk snow removal can be manageable. Be thorough, stay safe and ask for help when needed. Keeping community sidewalks consistently passable promotes health and wellbeing for all when cold weather strikes.