Here in eastern Iowa we have been seeing a lot of snow recently, and we all know what that means...shoveling! Ah yes shoveling, the Midwesterner's favorite winter pastime.  But, in all seriousness, with the amount of snow we've been getting, it's no secret that there's a lot of shoveling to be done.  You may not have known this, but there is actually a proper way to clear your sidewalks. Techniques suggested by professional are available to help ensure that everyone is lifting all that snow safely.

According the The Spruce, there are some easy ways to safely lift snow and avoid muscle pain. These might seem silly, but they really do help and your back will definitely thank you the morning after.

1. Stretch your muscles to help prevent injury.  You wouldn't go for a run or lift weights without stretching first, right? Stretching is important to warm up the muscles especially with strenuous activities like shoveling snow, so limber up!

2. Dress in layers to stay warm.  You might work up a sweat at some point, but you can always shed layers if needed as you go; always better to be overprepared than underprepared. Hats and gloves are important too as your fingers and tips of your ears are super vulnerable to frostbite.

3. Take breaks! I know you want to get it over with as quickly as possible but make sure you are listening to your body and resting when you feel fatigued or sore.

4. Bend your knees and lift with your legs. We all know this one, it's the oldest trick in the book.

5. As you lift the snow, keep the shovel blade close to you to reduce back strain.

There are a multitude of tips and tricks when it comes to shoveling that you may already know. If you want to check out additional suggestions, you can see more here.

Let's avoid the back pain and strain this year. The snow has been cruel to us, the least we can do is be nice to our backs.

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