Winter is fast approaching and being prepared for the season is important. Consider preparing a winter driving kit including the following items:
- Warm clothing (gloves, toque, boots)
- Small shovel
- Ice scraper and snow brush
- Nonperishable snacks
- Extra windshield washer fluid
- First aid kit
- Paper copy of a local map
- Flashlight with batteries
- Waterproof matches
- Battery jumper cables
Additionally, be sure to properly maintain your vehicle. Your tire condition and pressure and fluid levels should be checked regularly. If you don’t already use winter tires it may be a good idea to consider purchasing some. Manitoba Public Insurance currently offers a Winter Tire Program with financing at a low interest rate for up to $2,000 per vehicle.
You are eligible for the Winter Tire Program if:
- You are an individual (not corporate) Manitoba Public Insurance Customer
- You purchase qualifying winter tires for a passenger vehicle or light truck registered under your name. This symbol will be displayed on qualifying tires:
- You have no financing restrictions or outstanding arrears with Manitoba Public Insurance
For more information on the Manitoba Public Insurance Winter Tire Program and complete eligibility requirements, vist their website here.
Avoid Shoveling Injuries
Shoveling is a common cause of back injuries in the winter, but you can avoid injury by following some of these tips:
- Use an ergonomic, light weight shovel
- Warm up your muscles with a short, full body activity and stretching
- Bend at your hips and your knees, not at your lower back
- Lift with your leg muscles
- Shovel small amounts of snow at a time or layer by layer
- Walk to where you want to pile the snow instead of throwing or reaching
- Take a break if you feel overworked and take this time to stretch your arms, shoulders and back
- Wear good winter boots with treads to avoid slipping
- If you have a snow blower use it instead, but be sure to keep your back straight and use your leg muscles to push through the snow
The LifeWorks website contains useful tools and articles to help you and your family. You even have access to seminars at www.lifeworks.com.
It’s a busy time of year, and managing overload and flexibility can be overwhelming. LifeWorks has the resources to help you balance all of life’s demands. Check out this months’ recommended podcast:
- Tips on Making Flexibility Work
 Tips to Prepare for Winter Road Conditions. CAA. http://www.caa.ca/tips-to-prepare-for-winter-road-conditions/. November 5, 2012.
 Winter Tire Program, Manitoba Public Insurance, http://www.mpi.mb.ca/en/rd-safety/winter-tires/Pages/winter-tire-program-overview.aspx. 2016.
 Snow Shoveling Techniques to Prevent Low Back Injuries. Peter J. Schubbe, DC. Spine-health™. http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/snow-shoveling-techniques-prevent-low-back-injuries. December 16, 2013.