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5 tips for shoveling snow

How to shovel snow easily and safely.

Much of the U.S. has seen large amounts of snow pile up on roadways and sidewalks in recent years as a series of powerful winter storms crossed the heartland. Shoveling snow is never a fun task, and if done incorrectly it can even be dangerous for your health. Here are 5 tips for shoveling snow in the easiest and safest manner possible:

  1. Purchase a quality snow shovel that is comfortable to use and easy on your back. A well-designed shovel will allow you to push snow rather than lift it while working in a more or less upright position. If you have to bend over to use it, you have the wrong snow shovel.
  2. Try not to walk or drive on the snow before shoveling it. Fresh snow is much easier to remove than compacted snow.
  3. Keep your snow shovel outdoors where it will remain at the same temperature as the outside air. Snow will cling to a warm shovel, causing all kinds of headaches when trying to use it.
  4. In deep snow try to push a "strip" of snow that is about 1/2 the width of the shovel. This will allow you to work faster and safer because you're pushing only half the weight you would normally be pushing.
  5. Work in short stretches in order to avoid having a heart attack. Blood vessels constrict in cold weather which makes strenuous exercise quite dangerous. A number of people suffer heart attacks every year while shoveling snow.

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