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Best 5 snow shovels for your winter

Follow tips below to stay healthy while shoveling this winter.

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Whether you’ve already experienced your first big snowfall of the year, or you’re still bracing for it…it’s coming.

While you can’t control the snow, or how much falls, you can be prepared to shovel it.

We asked chiropractor Dr. Natalie Carrington, who has been practicing for 29 years and is the Past-Chair of the Chiropractic Association of Alberta, to weigh in on the best tools and techniques.  

Shovel often

It might seem like a good idea to wait until the snow stops falling before you head outside, but that can be tough on your body (and you may pay for it the next day).

“It is really important to shovel often when the snow falls to prevent injury,” Carrington says. “When you are shovelling smaller amounts of snow more frequently, it can be easier to manage than one large amount of snow, which in turn will be easier on your spine and your joints.”

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She also says that if the snow is heavy and wet, try to push smaller amounts to the sides – lifting and twisting heavy snow can lead to injury.

Position matters

In addition to shovelling more often, you also want to make sure you’re shoveling properly.

“One tip is to bend with your knees and use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your core engaged and back in a neutral position. This will help prevent injury and protect your spine and joints.”

Let the kids help

No one gets more excited about snow than kids. When you’re getting your winter gear on to go out and shovel, they’ll likely be right behind you.

“Kids can use their own small plastic shovel with adult supervision,” Carrington says. “Make sure to show them the proper form, which is to push and not lift. This will help to protect their growing spine, muscles and joints.”

Another important tip for kids and adults? “Always be sure to warm-up first, as this is important to prepare your body for shovelling.”

Listen to your body

As tempting as it can be to power through, if you experience any sudden symptoms of fatigue or otherwise, take the time to assess what’s going on.

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“You should stop shovelling right away if you feel chest or back pain in your body,” Carrington says. “If you have back pain that is severe or that persists for more than a day after shovelling, see your chiropractor. If you have chest pain that is severe call 911 immediately.”

Here are some suggestions to get you ready for that big snowfall.

As for what type of shovel is best for your body, Carrington recommends using a lightweight and wider shovel for pushing snow. This 26-Inch ergonomic shovel has an extra-large pusher blade for clearing big areas and a curved handle for better posture. The handle also has an extra-wide grip. The nylon strip at the bottom will also make sure you don’t scratch any surfaces.

 

You’re not seeing double! This shovel has two ergonomic handles to help support as you scoop and lift. The spring-assist handle also helps reduce strain. This highly rated shovel has over 23,000 reviews. One user says: “The blade is wide enough to clear a big swath of sidewalk or driveway in each scoop, but not so big it’s unwieldy or hard to balance, even loaded with snow.”
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If you don’t have a large space to clear, then a smaller shovel should be a suitable option for you. This Garant 21-inch poly blade option is ideal for pushing snow.
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If you prefer a sleigh model, this extra wide 22-Inch scoop option can move large quantities of snow without causing too much strain. There’s also an extra wide footstep for increased digging power. Reviewers say it’s easy to assemble and the shovel portion is heavy-duty plastic. Says one user: “Very safe and easy way to remove lots of snow. It does work very well, no bending or forcing your back at all. Highly recommend it.”

 

 

If you’re not sure you want to go the snow blower route, this in-between option could be the perfect fit. This Greenworks corded snow shovel is compact and weighs only 14 pounds. It can help you easily clear sidewalks, steps and driveways and can up to 300 pounds of snow a minute. It has a 12-inch clearing width and a 4-inch clearing depth which is ideal for moderate snow.
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But…

If you want to go the snow blower route, no judgment here! This Greenworks model is an Amazon favourite. It can handle a 10-inch clearing depth and 20-inch clearing width. And has a throwing distance of up to 25 feet. There’s even an LED light that will help you clear snow in the evening. With up to 45 minutes of battery runtime, you can clear most houses in one go.

 

Don’t forget the kids!

This 10-inch Paw Patrol kids shovel is lightweight and has a comfortable grip for easy scooping. And having Chase as a helper will definitely make family shoveling a fun adventure!

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