Snow Removal Safety Tips!

Shoveling is sno’ joke!

Winter is upon us! Here are some tips to keep you safe and pain free!

1) Warm up for about 10 minutes. Get your blood moving with a brisk  walk, marching in place or other full-body movement. Also include some upper and lower body stretching.

2) Wear shoe chains and watch your step as you go down the slippery stairs to begin shoveling.Many people get hurt before they even begin.

3) Choose the correct shovel. Nothing too big/small or too heavy.

4) Shovel early and often so snow does not become too heavy.

5) Make sure you can see what you are shoveling. Do not let a scarf or hat hide your vision.

6) Watch out for uneven surfaces or icy patches.

7) Push, rather than lift, the snow when possible.

8) Use proper lifting technique including a focus on using your legs to lift the shovel, not your back. 

9)  Do not twist your back or upper body.

10) Do not throw snow over your shoulder.

11) Push 3 times to the Left, then 3 times to the Right.

12) Pace yourself and rest frequently.

13) If your doctor has told you not to lift or shovel, then LISTEN! Ask a neighbor/local kid for help or hire a snow removal service. It's NOT worth doing further damage to an injury!!

Snowblower Safety:

1) Be aware of where the cord is so you don't trip.

2) Never put your hands in the snowblower.

3) Walk slowly and carefully and have a firm hold on the machine.

4) Watch out for any uneven surfaces of icy patches.

How do you keep the snow from giving you cold feet? 

Don't go around BRRfooted! : ))

Marnie Wortman

Marnie Wortman

By Dr. Marnie Wortman, DPT, ART, CF-L1

Stay in Your Lane - Ego vs. Injury

I've been treating a lot of heavy duty athletes and CrossFitters lately, and I find myself ending sessions with the same advice... "STAY IN YOUR LANE!"

You know that feeling...you're in the middle of a workout and your body's telling you something's not quite right, but your ego's telling you to keep going. This is especially true in a group fitness setting.

I am not referring to a mental roadblock (a.k.a., fear) here, but a physical one. You distinctively feel that part of your body is weak and vulnerable.

In these critical injury prevention moments, it's important to listen to your body and STAY IN YOUR LANE. What does this mean?

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  • Set your own goals (e.g., mileage, weight, etc.) and stick to them. Don't get sidetracked and dangerously veer in and out of your lane because you see people whizzing past you.

  • Compete with yourself! You can be in your own lane and still go faster and harder. Challenging yourself is part of the thrill!

  • Workout with people (e.g. running group, CrossFit gym, fitness class) who value injury prevention, mobility and openly advocate modifications. Move on if you are not in a supportive environment.

  • Don't give up and take the nearest exit. Keep moving forward! Modify your workout, cross train, rehab when necessary.

  • Accept that your lane is unique! You may have a dirt road with potholes and someone else might have beautiful new pavement, but your lane can still take you on an exciting adventure.

  • Find joy in your own progress. Enjoy the ride!

Avoid Injury: Ease Into Your Warm Weather Workout

Spring fever is upon us! The warm weather (and bathing suit season) is almost here and many of you are anxious to get outside and get moving. I love that, but a sharp increase in your exercise program could do more harm that good.

Yahooo! Spring is here.

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Here are a few tips to keep you looking and feeling great:

  • Ramp up slowly over several weeks. This includes both the length, frequency and intensity of each workout session.

  • Include plenty ofstretching.

    • I encourage dynamic (movement based) stretching before your workout such as walking lunges. After your workout, I encourage foam rolling and static stretching where you hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds.

  • Ignore peer pressure. Training with a group (i.e, running club, fitness classes, crossfit, etc.) is a great way to stay motivated and accountable; however, it's important to go at your own pace and listen to what your own body is telling you.

  • Use cross-trainingto minimize the chance of injury and keep things interesting. Pools will be opening soon, and swimming is always a joint-friendly way to mix things up.

  • Rest for a few days if something starts to hurt. If the pain does not subside, see a doctor to evaluate the situation.

Even as a physical therapist, I've made the mistake of ramping up too quickly and paid the price.

You can read about my own experience here

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Although this post is a word of caution, I am thrilled to see all the smiling faces running, biking, and playing outside my office.

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What's the activity you're most excited about doing now that the frost has FINALLY melted (in NJ at least)?