Shoveling 101: How to Shovel More Effectively in Westchester

Photo by Adobe Stock | Chiyacat

Get ahead of your winter upkeep plans with these four tips to help you plow through the snow sans a back injury or frosty fingers.

As Old Man Winter barrels down and blizzards begin to bombard us, don’t get caught in the cold. These tips will keep your shoveling as painless (and medical-deductible-free) as possible.

A man snow shoveling.
Photo by Adobe Stock | Chiyacat

Shovel Smarter, Not Harder

Either take to your sidewalk after every few inches of snowfall or wait until the snow is finished completely. If you wait until the next day to burrow yourself out, you stand a bigger chance of the top layer freezing over. When you do head out, make sure your form is in tip-top shape. The most important tactic is to lift with your legs while maintaining a soft bend in your knees, keeping the blade of the shovel as close to you as possible when lifting the snow. Don’t forget to alternate your grip and which arm you’re leading with; you’ll save your body the fatigue and the risk of straining one side too much.

Bundle Up

Nothing is worse than getting into the groove of shoveling, just to lose the feeling in your fingertips. When heading out into the tundra, layering is your friend. Consider a long-sleeved thermal sweatshirt with a jacket over it. Don’t forget your hat and earmuffs, as 7% to 10% of body heat is lost through the head.

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Prep Walkable Spaces Before the Blast

Have you ever driven home before a snowstorm is supposed to hit and notice the streets are bleached with a dusty, white film? You can make your own version at home to prevent thick layers of ice from developing and creating an easy surface for snow to be removed from. The recipe is arguably the easiest thing you’ll cook up all season: Simply dissolve rock salt in hot water with a ratio of 3:1, water to salt. Because brine can be corrosive, be mindful of how much you’re spreading on your driveway and walkways.

Revamp Your Other Tools

Your leaf blower may seem obsolete once the trees are bare, but it gets a second act in the winter by moving light and powdery snow out of the way. If you’ve already packed your tools away for the season, a shop vacuum can have the same effect when set to the “exhaust” setting.

Related: The Inventor of the Knuckleball Has a Westchester Connection

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