Did you wake up this morning with sore arms and legs from lifting and shovelling the heavy snow? What about your lower back -- is it aching from constantly twisting to dump the snow elsewhere? Let's take a look at 5 ways to prevent and recover from soreness due to shovelling.
Shovelling snow for most of us right now is unavoidable unless you have a snow plow or are able to hire someone to do it for you. Now that you’ve shovelled your car out from two feet of snow and are about to do it again after this next dump, let’s take a moment to look at a few ways to prevent and recover from injury and strain.
- Somatic Releases - Those of you who have spent time in my studio are familiar with these release techniques and how they rebalance your posture. Starting with a balanced posture can prevent strains and injury. Doing a few Somatic Arch & Curl, Side Bends and especially Washrag for the torso rotation will take you a long way toward preventing todays and tomorrows soreness.
- Melt Method Techniques - The Melt techniques will help to rehydrate your connective tissue so that you have more mobility while you are shovelling, thus, preventing the aches & pains from restricted movement and overused muscle due to tight tissue.
- Warm Up Shovelling snow is a workout. If you are going to shovel for an hour ... or more, you need to warm up your muscles. Go for a walk or vacuum your house for 20 min. Anything to warm up your muscles so they do not have to work so hard making you susceptible to injury.
- Drink plenty of liquids to keep the body's tissue hydrated for mobility. Ease of movement will prevent strain and make the task more enjoyable.
- Eat! Food is your fuel. If you are going to drive your car to Nanaimo, you better make sure you have enough gas to get there. Same for food. If you are going to go shovel for 2 - 4 hours, make sure you have the fuel to do the job.
- Somatic Releases and Melt Method Techniques, Same as prevention, these movements will help to restore the muscles to a relaxed state, rehydrate your connective tissue and remove lactic acid.
- Foam Rolling - another way to rehydrate the tissue. I recommend the Melt Method rollers as a safe way to recover.
- Epsom Salts - Epsom salts contain magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and . Your skin is your largest organ, except for maybe connective tissue, so bathing in it is the best way to absorb it but you could also take it as a supplement or spray on a mixture of magnesium oil and water. Baking soda helps too. This helps to remove lactic acid and other toxins that accumulate when the body is under duress. Put 2 cups of each in your bath. If you like essential oils, add your favorite : )
- Rest - the body does most of its repairing at night while we sleep. Get a good nights sleep. This is an area I continue to work on : /
- Nutrition - shovelling snow is just like a workout, so you need to eat to recover. A balanced meal of carbohydrates and protein to help the muscles recover and build muscle. Hey, if you are going to do the work, you may as well reap in the benefits right?