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How to Shovel Snow

You need the right stuff to tackle the white stuff.


  • : Men with heart disease should not shovel snow, and healthy men above 50 and healthy women over 60 should avoid it as well.
  • Step 1: Stretch Do five to ten minutes of stretching exercises to warm up your muscles.
  • Step 2: Dress warmly Dress warmly with multiple layers, a hat and scarf, gloves or mittens, and shoes or boots with nonskid soles.
  • Step 3: Coat shovels Spray the shovels with cooking spray to keep snow from sticking.
  • TIP: Invest in ergonomic shovels; their bent shafts mean less bending, which means less back strain.
  • 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.
  • Step 5: Scoop snow Use the lighter, plastic shovel to scoop up small amounts of snow, just an inch or two at a time.
  • TIP: When picking up snow, keep one hand close to the shovel as you bend at the knees, with your back straight and legs apart.
  • Step 6: Step and dump Take one step forward before dumping the snow.
  • Step 7: Rest Take breaks every 15 minutes, or sooner if needed.
  • TIP: If you can’t say a long sentence without getting winded, it’s time to take a break.
  • Step 8: Cover 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.
  • Step 9: Reward yourself Reward yourself with some hot cocoa.
  • FACT: The verb 'to shovel' dates back to the 1400s.

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

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