In the bleak mid-winter, use these snow shoveling safety tips.

With winter upon us now, and snow covering many regions across the nation, millions of people are taking the time to clear their sidewalks and driveways from snow. Many of us realize that snow shoveling is very hard work, but few of us know that it can put the heart under tremendous stress.

As winter gets underway, take note of important tips to shovel the snow safely.

Select the Right Snow Shovel

Be sure that your snow shovel has a curved handle, because this enables you to keep your back straighter when shoveling. A plastic shovel will always weigh less than a metal one, therefore, putting less strain on your back. Sometimes, a smaller blade is better than a larger blade as it prevents you from picking up too much heavy snow.

Perfect Your Technique

It’s best to know what you’re doing before you do it. Push the snow instead of lifting it, and never throw the snow over your shoulder. Always warm up your muscles before you start as cold, tight muscles are more likely to sprain or strain than warm, relaxed muscles. Remember to lift with your knees and legs and not with your back!

Take Frequent Breaks

Pace yourself by taking frequent breaks. Shoveling snow is hard work, and it’s advised that you rest every 15 minutes. When you do stop, stretch your back, arms, and legs to keep the muscles warm and flexible.

Stop If You Experience Pain

Even if you’re only half way into removing the snow from your driveway, don’t continue shoveling if you’re experiencing pain of any sort. It may make your ailment worse!

With the winter season upon us, take the time to review your insurance policies to protect your assets, finances, home, and family. Contact the professionals at Tompkins Insurance Agencies for help with homeowners insurance options.