Reason #2: Haven't heard of PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go)
A shameless plug for this website of course, this is nevertheless a valid reason! PAYG solutions are offered exclusively though ALC and we provide this option because it provides the fairest value possible. Many people are not aware of PAYG but it is great for many lifestyles where help is needed regularly or just on occasion.
As far as injury goes (the main reason for this article), PAYG offers Winnipeggers the opportunity to rest easy and entirely prevent injury. Shovelling heavy snow can be intense on the heart, hard on the back, and hard to handle in the cold. Alberto Lawn Care hopes that the PAYG option will meet the needs of Winnipeggers who need help during heavy snowfall to avoid potential injury, sickness and downtime - or to help during injury, sickness or other downtime.
Reason #3: Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Sometimes it is hard to think of our bodies as anything more than the thing that carries our brains to meetings, but it needs to be treated well if we want full function of this brain courier of ours! These steps are recommended even if you are not planning to shovel, and it even makes you feel happier and gives you more energy throughout the day!
First you must prepare your body on the inside. This means drinking about having a light snack (apple, oatmeal) and a cup of water per half-hour of shovelling you expect to do and avoiding (or going easy on) stimulants like sugar, nicotine and caffeine. Even if it's cold your body needs fuel and plenty of water to properly perform.
Next, you must prepare your body on the outside. This means dressing in layers. Having a thin wind-proof layer covering a fleece, over a sweater or thick long-sleeved shirt and a thermal shirt beneath allows you more physical mobility than a thick parka, and the option to peel a layer off if you are over-heating or stifled. Also Breath through a mask or scarf during very cold periods, and make things more pleasant by wearing snow goggles to save you from squinting in the blowing snow. They also come in tinted!
Finally, you must prepare your mind-to-body connection. Light Stretching and a short walk get blood flowing into your joints and muscles. Physical effort without warmup can tear muscles and injure joints. A simple 5 minute walk or a trudge through high snow easily does the trick. To get ahead of your proper shovelling form (Reason #1 for injury), concentrate on keeping your upper body stable by using your abdominals to keep your back straight. Intensity is not required, but blood flow into key areas will reduce chance of injury and strain.
Reason #4: We work too hard, not too smart!
Clearing snow can be physically intense. It is a full body exercise that can put strain on your heart, lungs, and most muscles in the body! It is common for us to get stuck in the groove and not realize we are hyperventilating in the cold air, our heart is racing, our head wear is wet from sweat, and our knees are getting week. Always remember to take frequent breaks and stay focused on a pace that is not too hard. We know it's easy to get into the groove with the latest Taylor Swift song, but your heart doesn't! Take a break every 15-30 minutes.
If you do not have a snowblower, heavy snowfall over 12" should be cleared in layers. Scoop off half to reduce the weight and body strain.
As with any exercise, see your doctor to ensure you are fit to shovel snow. Please be safe and pay attention to warning signs like pain in your arms, shoulders or chest, inability to catch your breath, or other common warning signs.