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Shoveling? Remember To Stand Tall, Bend Your Knees

Backbreaking, tiring and aching muscles: Just a few words that come to mind when you mention shoveling out from a snowstorm. Did you know that your posture could be the cause of your pain?

"A lot of people try to lift heavy snow," said Tatyana Kalyuzhny, a physical therapist at ONS Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation Center in Greenwich. "Some of the most important things people should remember when shoveling are to maintain good posture and to bend and tilt at the hip."

Throwing heavy snow with a curved and twisted back is one of the main ways to injure yourself, she said. Kalyuzhny advises people to keep the shovel close to the body and place one hand halfway down the shaft. The longer you make the shovel, the more strain put on your body.

Digging out is like any form of exercise. Stretching is one of the first things you should do before starting any cardio routine, which includes snow shoveling. Having your body loose and relaxed could help in preventing injuries.

Here are some more tips on how to tackle the dreaded task while staying healthy:

• Keep your muscles warm by wearing appropriate winter clothing.

• Pace yourself: If you get tired, take a break and come back.

• Push the snow instead of lifting.

• Stay hydrated.

• Ask for help if you need it.

Let's chat: Have you had an injury from shoveling the snow? Send your story to acorbett@mainstreetconnect.us .

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