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Shoveling Snow - a winter evil.

As we gear up for our Minnesota March, which we all know can be one of our snowiest months, we are looking at more shoveling. If you don't have a teenager you can make do it, a vehicle with a plow or don't want to pay for someone to come shovel your driveway, you're on your own. It can be a physically exhausting job, especially when we get the wet heavy snow.

After you get all bundled up and sweaty just from putting the layer of clothes on, now you have to head out in the tundra and shovel. Things like falls, back aches and other injuries can easily occur while you are throwing that snow around. Here are a few tips one of our carriers sent out to us. Especially important for those employees that do any shoveling. By following these few safety tips, the necessary evil of winter can be finished up and you can walk back into the warmth.

Start by being physically ready. Before and even during shoveling, remember to:

* Hydrate by drinking plenty of water

* Stretch your arms, shoulders, back and legs

* Don't push beyond your physical limits

Check for icy spots first and take care of them immediately so you can prevent slips and falls.

Use proper shoveling techniques (I didn't even know there was such a thing!):

* Push the shovel with your leg muscles, not your arms and shoulders

* Try to push the snow instead of lifting it

* If you must lift the snow, lift the shovel just like you lift anything else - keep your

knees bent, feet wide and head up to maintain the neutral curve in your lower


* Keep one foot ahead of the other to give yourself more power and to reduce

stress on your lower back

*Keep your arms as close to your body as possible for power, stability and to

reduce strain

*Avoid twisting your upper body. Keep your feet in alignment with your torso

Work at a safe pace to avoid injury. When you're tired, you may forget to use proper techniques, which could cause discomfort or pain.

And finally, be sure to take breaks when shoveling and don't allow yourself to overheat.

These are great tips! I think I'll lean towards paying someone or making the teenager do it, but these are great ways to stay safe in our wonderful Minnesota Tundra. On your break (as noted above), you can find me keeping the house warm! I'll make you some hot chocolate to warm you up for anyone that would like to come safely shovel my driveway! Be safe, Folks!

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