Shoveling can be a daunting task, especially when there’s a Grey’s Anatomy marathon on TV. Turn shoveling into a fun workout! But beware, shoveling incorrectly can lead to injury. According to a 2011 study, around 11,500 Americans end up in the emergency room each year from shoveling.

There are things you can do to get in a good workout, while also being safe:

Stretch

snow workoutLike any other strenuous workout, you need to warm up. You’re going to need all the flexibility you can get. I promise you’ll thank me later.

Do shovel squats

In other words, don’t use your back. Squat down, push the shovel, and pop back up. Use your legs as much as possible. This will alleviate the stress on your back and help you avoid a pulled muscle or spasm.

Do standing oblique twists

Once you’ve shoved up a big pile a snow, twist side to side before throwing it aside. This will work your obliques and give you rock-hard abs just in time for summer!

Do shovel lunges

Don’t walk across the driveway like you’re strutting through the mall. Do walking lunges to get from place to place. This is a great workout for your leg muscles—and it will help you work up a sweat so you don’t get too chilly outside.

Don’t rush

Work at your own pace. The faster you go, the more likely you are to injure yourself. Work slowly and make sure you’re moving correctly.

snow workoutStay hydrated

Even though its cold out and you may not feel dehydrated, it’s important to drink lots of water. You might not feel like you’re doing a strenuous workout, but you are. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Water is your friend.

Cool down

Don’t plop right down on the couch once your driveway is clear. Do a little cool down stretching. This will make the rest of your day that much more relaxing.

Have fun

It’s a snow day! Get out there—throw a snowball, build a snowman, or make a snow angel. Do whatever it takes to put a smile on your face.