How is Your Back After Sledding Like This?

It’s never the jump that gets you…it’s the landing. I spent the afternoon sledding with my kids yesterday and we had a blast! I noticed that none of the other parents were sledding along with their kids like I was however. Maybe they didn’t want to hog the sledding lanes, or maybe they were tired from shoveling or maybe they were afraid of getting hurt, who knows. I noticed the the ride down was fun, the crashes…well were crashes and they walk back up the hill was a bit of work. maybe this is what the parents were afraid of. I was not just walking up the hill with my own sled , but usually had an additional child and sled or two. I usually jogged up the hill while dragging them. A good work out for sure and the kids loved it, their own chair lift!

I do know that low back injuries during shoveling are common. Eve if they are not full on injuries, the tightness and soreness that can accompany shoveling can knock someone off their pins for a few days. One of my best friends who I play hockey with is in decent enough shape tweaked his back and missed our game a week ago because of shoveling. Yes he jogs and plays hockey, but he does not do specific flexibility or specific core exercises to help keep his back stable and hips strong. The typical progression is to just buy a snow blower and not worry about the shoveling, but that just covers up a symptom. Most people have “tightness” in their low backs and weak core stabilizers because they sit all day and do not invest the time needed to undo the hours if poor posture. Therefore, their low back muscles get tired and fatigued and sore prematurely during activities like shoveling, playing tennis , gardening or lifting weights. We need to invest time and energy to putting ourselves back in alignment so we can enjoy physical activity. I guarantee I had more fun sledding with my kids than the parents who stood at the top of the hill and I probably shoveled more than them that morning b/c I don’t use a snow blower. I also stretch and do quality core training regularly.

If you want to learn more about keeping your low back healthy, check this out

Thanks for reading and enjoy the winter!

Eric Beard
Corrective Exercise Specialist
Athletic Performance Enhancement Specialist

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