(ARA) - When you look outside, do the large piles of snow leave you dreaming of spring? Since winter isn't going anywhere any time soon, you might as well make the most of the snowy outdoors. When you need to remove snow from your driveway and walkways, some simple tips will make the task easier. You might even enjoy getting outdoors for bit to breathe the crisp air and delight in the wonderment of winter.
1. Groups make snow fun.
While the chore of keeping walkways and driveways clean traditionally falls on fathers, there's no reason the whole family can't help out. Once snow has stopped falling, bundle the whole family up (appropriate attire is essential) and get them outside. Adults and older teens can handle the heavier shoveling tasks, while young children can help by sweeping light snow with brooms and spreading salt and sand.
2. Play it safe.
Straining your back while engaging in snow removal can leave you miserable. Before you set foot outside, make sure you have a proper snow shovel. Never use a garden spade or regular shovel to try to move snow; you'll only make the job harder. Remember to lift with your knees, avoid making twisting motions with your back, and push snow, rather than lift it, whenever possible.
3. Plow through the pile with a sport utility vehicle.
Plowing is the fastest, easiest way to clear your driveway, but until now you may have relied on professionals to do it for you or skipped it altogether because of the expense and inconvenience of waiting for the plow guy to show up. Some snow plow manufacturers are now making products that will work on most light pickups and SUVs, like the SnowSport HD by Agri-Cover. With no electrical or hydraulic moving parts, it's easy to install and use, reasonably priced, and allows you to quickly and easily move snow while in the comfort of your own vehicle. Learn more at MySnowSport.com.
4. Enjoy the snow and wait until the storm has passed.
You might think that you're reducing your workload later by shoveling while it's still snowing, but you're really just making more work for yourself. Wait until the snowstorm is over before you even think about snow removal. Allow yourself some time to enjoy the pristine snow with your family while looking out the window or get outside and build a snowman with the kids.
5. Take frequent breaks.
You might be tempted to just push through and get the job done as quickly as possible, but doing so means risking injury or exhaustion. It's important to give your body a rest. Snow removal works not only the muscles in your back, arms and legs, but bright sunlight reflected on snow can strain your eyes as well. So work for awhile, then take a 10 or 15-minute break. Drink a hot chocolate, check on the game, poke the fire, and take the time to relax before heading back out into the cold. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water as well.
Winter weather will be around for a while longer, but with some caution, the right tools and a sense of fun, you can get through it, and ensure your driveway and sidewalks are safe.