Would you ever pick up a large bowling ball at the end of a stick and throw it a few feet away? Shoveling snow is serious business. It is important to be aware of your body mechanics when it comes to snow removal. When you are mindful while removing snow from your driveway and walkways - you are less likely suffer muscle strain. Did you know that a shovel loaded with snow weighs about 16 pounds? Did you know that a very large bowling ball weighs 16 pounds? What makes snow shoveling so strenuous is the fact that we pick up these 16 pound “Bowling Balls” at the end of a stick and proceed to fling them over our shoulders, over high embankments, off of decks and roofs in the freezing cold. No wonder our muscles are susceptible to strain! Here are some simple steps to help minimize your chance of injury: ***Please remember snow shoveling is strenuous exercise and as with all exercise please check with you physician if you haven’t exercised in a while.*** Pace yourself. It is important to listen to your body and take frequent breaks, preferably every 30 minutes. Bend your knees. Be careful not to bend your back when lifting your loaded snow shovel, lift with your knees. No twisting. Make sure your feet are pointed in the same direction as where you are throwing the snow. Minimize the distance. Throwing snow as far as you can strains your back, shoulders and neck. Take time to walk closer to where you want to place the snow. Less is more. If a full shovel feels too heavy, take less snow. Your body will thank you.