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Video:How to Shovel Snow

with Aaron Dostie

Shoveling snow can be a real pain in the neck if you don't know what you're doing. This video from About.com will show you the right way to shovel snow.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Shovel Snow

Winter months can be a lot of fun. Skiing, sledding, snowball fights, shoveling snow…well, maybe not shoveling snow. But it needs to get done. Here are a few tips and suggestions to make it a little easier.

Prepare to Shovel Snow

Before you go into the cold, get prepared. Stretch and dress warm. Loosening up your muscles before shoveling will decrease the chance of getting hurt. Keeping warm is equally important. Dress in layers to help hold in the heat and give you the option to remove clothing if you are too warm.

Have a Plan for Shoveling

As you step outside, consider what needs to be shoveled. Planning your attack will help make the process easier and keep you from doing more work than necessary. Shovel your steps, walkway and driveway first, leaving the area around your car, if it's parked outside, and the end of the driveway for last. This will help you avoid doing the same areas more than once. As you clear off your car, clear off that area of the driveway. The pile of snow the plow has left at the end of the driveway can wait until you are ready to leave. By doing this, you will give yourself a break and hopefully the plow hasn't added more to the work.

Use Proper Shoveling Technique

To begin shoveling, consider the proper technique. Safety first. There is no need to get injured shoveling snow. Bend your knees and lift with your legs. This will help reduce the chance of back strain. Whether you are left or right-handed doesn't matter. You will want to switch positions throughout shoveling to avoid overworking one side. Also, keep the blade of the shovel close to you, trying not to over extend your reach. This will help you avoid muscle strain. As you throw the snow to the desired location, keep the blade low and don't try to heave it too far. If you need to, walk closer to your throwing area.

Don't Shovel Too Much Snow at Once

Take your time, work cautiously and take breaks as needed. Be aware of how much and the type of snow that you are shoveling. If it is very deep or heavy, don't try to scoop all the way to the ground in one stroke. This can cause the load to be too heavy, thus putting unnecessary strain on your body. Scoop about half way down and then repeat the stroke all the way to the ground. As you remove snow, try not to create piles along the edge of your drive or walk way. By placing the snow away from the edge, you will leave yourself room for the next storm and you will avoid snow falling back into the area you just shoveled.

Choose Best Snow Shovel

Choosing the right shovel is important. There are a variety of styles and types of snow shovels available. Blades come in both plastic and aluminum, which can effect both the durability of the shovel as well as how it handles snow. For example, different types of snow will sometimes stick to an aluminum blade. Having a couple different shovels handy is a good idea if you anticipate removing a lot of snow throughout a winter.

The act of shoveling snow may seem like a simple one, but remember, it is a physical activity, so take your time, plan accordingly and be careful. No need to rush, the snow isn't going anyway. Well, at least not until spring. To learn more, check us out on the web at About.com. Thanks for watching.

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