How to Shovel Snow

You need the right stuff to tackle the white stuff.


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You Will Need

  • Warm clothes
  • Two shovels: A plastic one and a metal one
  • A can of non-stick spray
  • And the discipline to pace yourself
  • Salt, sand, or kitty litter


  1. Men with heart disease should not shovel snow, and healthy men above 50 and healthy women over 60 should avoid it as well.

  2. Step 1


    Do five to ten minutes of stretching exercises to warm up your muscles.

  3. Step 2

    Dress warmly

    Dress warmly with multiple layers, a hat and scarf, gloves or mittens, and shoes or boots with nonskid soles.

  4. Step 3

    Coat shovels

    Spray the shovels with cooking spray to keep snow from sticking.

  5. Invest in ergonomic shovels; their bent shafts mean less bending, which means less back strain.

  6. Step 4

    Push snow

    Use the metal shovel to push snow out of the way. The goal is to push, not lift, as much as you can to avoid back strain.

  7. Step 5

    Scoop snow

    Use the lighter, plastic shovel to scoop up small amounts of snow, just an inch or two at a time.

  8. When picking up snow, keep one hand close to the shovel as you bend at the knees, with your back straight and legs apart.

  9. Step 6

    Step and dump

    Take one step forward before dumping the snow.

  10. Step 7


    Take breaks every 15 minutes, or sooner if needed.

  11. If you can’t say a long sentence without getting winded, it’s time to take a break.

  12. Step 8


    If there are icy or slick patches, scatter salt to help melt them, or cover them with sand or kitty litter to help passersby—or yourself—get traction.

  13. Step 9

    Reward yourself

    Reward yourself with some hot cocoa.

  14. The verb 'to shovel' dates back to the 1400s.